Ohio State University College of Medicine student Jason Ho always looked forward to his rounding, but he enjoyed it most when he would visit patient Lindsay Anderson.
“It’s the little things that get you through the day," says Ho. “Visiting Lindsay got me through some pretty tough days of rounding.”
Ho met Anderson when he was assigned to her case during his general medicine rotation on the ninth floor of Rhodes Hall. Throughout his rounds, a daily stop at Anderson’s room was always one he and his team looked forward to. Despite Anderson’s poor health, she always greeted them with a smile and a joke.
A Columbus State Community College student, 22-year-old Anderson was admitted to the hospital in November 2010 for complications with type 1 diabetes. Anderson was functionally blind and suffered from a variety of health problems. But nothing could dampen Anderson’s spirits as she struggled through her treatment.
“Her personality was infectious,” explains Ho. “Even though she was going to have to deal with a lot of things the rest of her life—her vision, the diabetes and other complications—she still managed to bring a smile to our faces everyday.”
One day while making their rounds, her treatment team, consisting of Ho, senior resident Raquel Reinbolt, intern William Healy and attending physician Stephen Ing, noticed Anderson had written on her white board her goal for the day: “steal Gordon Gee’s bow tie.”
The treatment team got a nice laugh and chalked it up as another one of Anderson’s playful jokes. But Ho thought to himself, ‘What if I can get Gordon Gee’s bow tie?’
Kicked off by an email to Gordon Gee’s staff, a plan to surprise Anderson with a visit from Gordon Gee himself transpired. Dr. Gee’s office found a date that worked for both Gee and Anderson.
Ho organized the surprise so family and friends could be present for the big visit. During a seemingly routine day, Gordon Gee showed up to Anderson’s room unexpectedly and unannounced. “When Gordon Gee entered the room, she was shocked and definitely ecstatic with the situation,” says Ho.
President Gee did not come empty-handed. With him, he brought tickets to that weekend’s Ohio State football game and one of his signature bow ties, signed for Anderson, a small gift for someone dealing with so much at such a young age.
When asked why he took it upon himself to set up the meeting, Ho shares, “She’s a young woman, she’s a college student and she worked so hard everyday or her rehab. She was the highlight of our day. She was just so positive and optimistic, which was great to see. Not every patient is optimistic after getting bad news about their diagnosis. I think everyone deserves to have a moment like that at least once in their lives.”
Today, Anderson continues to visit the Medical Center for treatments, and has been working with a guide dog to improve her independence. Anderson hopes that one day she’ll be able to meet up with Gordon Gee again so he can teach her how to tie that bow tie.