Pool of nurses at St. Louis hospital give early Christmas present
Last month’s excitement over the $1.5 billion Mega Millions added up to a short distraction nationally, but the impact will last for some time at Mercy Children’s Hospital in St. Louis.
A group of over 100 nurses pooled their money to buy tickets, with the intention of splitting any winnings. While the jackpot prize eluded the group, they did win a $10,000 prize on one ticket.
“We never thought in a million years we would win anything at all, and then we came one number away from winning $1.6 billion,” said NICU nurse Stephanie Brinkman, who organized the pool.
After taxes, the nurses would have received $7,200, which when split over 100 ways, would’ve come to about $60 per person. Instead, they decided to create a nice surprise for a couple of colleagues.
“The majority immediately said, ‘Let’s give it to our co-workers, our family, the ones that are in biggest need,’ so that’s what we decided to do,” Brinkman said.
One deserving nurse was Gretchen Post, who’d lost her 17-year-old son the night of the Mega Millions drawing. “It actually will help with Jack’s funeral, which I’m very grateful for,” Post said.
They gave the second check to neonatologist Casey Orellana, whose husband was diagnosed with sarcoma earlier this year.
The NICU nurses spend their careers caring for growing families—and almost by accident, they made their own family a little closer this holiday season.