Nurses Give Away Lottery Winnings To Help Their Own

Nurses Uses Lottery Winnings To Help Others At Mercy Children’s Hospital, the nurses and staff of the neonatal intensive care pool the money to enter the lottery. They’ve been...

Nurses Uses Lottery Winnings To Help Others

At Mercy Children’s Hospital, the nurses and staff of the neonatal intensive care pool the money to enter the lottery. They’ve been doing it for for years, with varying degrees of success.

Last month, the staffers at the St. Louis-area hospital won big: $10,000 in the Mega Millions lottery. But instead of divvying up the winning among the group, they gave it to two colleagues going through some tough times.

“We have a very stressful job, so it’s just something fun that keeps us going,” nurse Gretchen Post said when speaking about the lottery pool.

As last month’s jackpot grew to $1.6 billion dollars, nurse Stephanie Brinkman stayed up late and watched the results come in. Soon, her phone was lighting up with calls and messages from her colleagues. They had a winning ticket.

“I was so in shock, I couldn’t believe it,” Brinkman said. The group’s elation soon met a sobering reality.

They learned that Post’s 17-year-old son had killed himself just a few hours before the drawing. The staff chatted on Facebook and came up with a decision: give the money to Post for her son’s funeral expenses — and to another nurse, Casey Orellana, whose husband was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year.

Each of the women received $3,600. Post says she was grateful for the gesture and immediately told the rest of her family. “It was a little bit of relief that I would have some money to help with Jack’s funeral,” she says. “It just came at the right time.”

Post says Jack was proud of his mother’s career and had thought about going to medical school to become a psychiatrist. “He was very compassionate and intellectual, so I think he would have done so.”

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