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Nurses donate Mega Millions winnings to co-workers in need

Nov 29, 2018, 8:00 am

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Includes video report

ST. LOUIS — The nationwide buzz over the recent $1.537 billion Mega Millions jackpot was a temporary high, but the excitement at Mercy Children's Hospital in St. Louis, MO, continued weeks after the drawing.

A lottery pool of 126 nurses working at the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) had hoped to win it all — and while they didn't get the jackpot, they did have some luck.

"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.

One of their tickets was worth $10,000, which is around $7,200 after taxes.

Split up between 126 nurses, they would get around $56 each.

But rather than everyone getting a little, they decided to give two deserving colleagues a lot.

"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.

Brinkman presented one of two checks to nurse Gretchen Post, saying, "I know it's not the $1.6 billion, but here is what we have to offer you, and hopefully it will help."

Post is a grieving mother, mourning the recent loss of her son, 17-year-old Jack, who committed suicide on Oct. 23 — the night of the record Mega Millions drawing. He was the youngest of Post's three children.

"It actually will help with Jack's funeral, which I'm very grateful for," Post said.

Brinkman and the other nurses gave the second check to neonatologist Casey Orellana, whose husband Phil was diagnosed with sarcoma earlier this year.

He hasn't been able to work since July, which was around the same time that he discovered the cancer had spread to his lungs.

The couple has four children. To take care of her family, Casey Orellana had to cut her hours at the hospital in half.

She said the money from the lottery pool came at just the right time.

"When I got that phone call, it was a day when I was wondering how we were going to pay for certain medications," she said.

NICU nurses are there the moment families grow bigger, but they're also their own family, which through this experience has grown closer.

"Knowing that I'm not the only one fighting this battle, that there are people there to support me, certainly makes it easier for me," Phil Orellana said.

VIDEO: Watch the report



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15 comments. Last comment 3 years ago by spirituallockss.
Page 1 of 2
TheMeatman2005's avatar - lightening
Brooklyn, NY
United States
Member #169716
October 29, 2015
1531 Posts

Way to go! Cheers

Nurses are Angels in uniform. Big Grin Angel

The Meatman 🥩🍗🍔🍖🍤🌭

“The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it in your back pocket.” Will Rogers

Winning happens in a flash, Like A Bolt Of Lightning!  Patriot

    Raven62's avatar - binary
    New Jersey
    United States
    Member #17842
    June 28, 2005
    145704 Posts

    Extended Family Helping Extended Family!

    A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

    Catch-22: A dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.

    Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges: When the republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerous.

      New York, NY
      United States
      Member #140628
      March 23, 2013
      11269 Posts

      Nurses are educated that way. It’s their way of defining respect. One of the true professions where thinking in that way is a must. Very nice. Way to go Nurses!

      Sometimes you do the right thing just because it’s right.

      Life's a game of mathematics, if you can't figure that out I don't know what to tell you.

        hearsetrax's avatar - alien on_computer.jpg

        United States
        Member #52343
        May 21, 2007
        3387 Posts

        Extended Family Helping Extended Family!

        couldn't have put it better

          music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
          Fresno, California
          United States
          Member #157849
          August 2, 2014
          3959 Posts

          WOW, a very thoughtful and caring wake up post. Thank You.

           "We are all in this together!" 

            * In hot pursuit of $ *
            White Shores- California
            United States
            Member #136471
            December 12, 2012
            6723 Posts

            Nice! That is one massive pool. Makes one wonder, if that pool comprised of 10 players, would the 8 have taken similar steps for their colleagues?

            *Just asking, please no hate responses. Thanks in advance.

             * Voice of Reason *   

            * The Truth Hurts *

            People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

              Gallatin Tennesee
              United States
              Member #194096
              November 29, 2018
              85 Posts

              Wow....for these nurses to come up with this idea so quickly and help these 2 deserving co-workers,is an excellent example not only for the community but for their own children.It tells them to pay attention to what's going on in your community and if you are in a position to help-don't delay. Sure it may not have been millions of dollars, But for someone who is struggling it is so important to let them know that they are not alone. To the person who came up with this idea and to all who participated i want you to know this.......what you did will inspire others to do similar deeds across the the country,so you did not just help those two, but who knows how many others.When you lay your heads down at night during this holiday season......you have thousands of people who will here about this and they will believe as my grandfather did......that nurses are angels in uniforms!Happy Holidays to you all.

                OneTrickpony's avatar - rocking horse.jpg

                United States
                Member #167650
                July 25, 2015
                118 Posts

                That is so wonderful!  I have a good friend who is a Neonatal ICU nurse at Emery Hospital in Atlanta, and that would be something she and her fellow nurses would do.  Even after working long shifts, sometimes 24 hours straight, they volunteer at homeless shelters, animal shelters, schools and such.  Nurses are amazingly giving people!

                  ekem6078's avatar - winter
                  United States
                  Member #88773
                  March 23, 2010
                  2385 Posts

                  What a wonderful thing to do.  May God bless you all ladies.  Job well done. 

                    brees2012's avatar - animal whale.jpg

                    United States
                    Member #125171
                    March 26, 2012
                    295 Posts

                    When I read this article , it didn't surprise me, why because

                    nurses in this area , volunteers to help others !!! 

                    I am PROUD of my Daughter in law , who's a Mercy "RN in St.Louis . 

                    Who's a cares  for her patients , friends and family !!! 

                    We come from a family who's all in the medical field to help people .

                    Ready To Win ....

                      nikiiva's avatar - batman38
                      New Member
                      Baltimore, Maryland
                      United States
                      Member #144188
                      June 26, 2013
                      5 Posts

                      That was so nice of them

                        United States
                        Member #163182
                        January 22, 2015
                        2692 Posts

                        That is so wonderful!  I have a good friend who is a Neonatal ICU nurse at Emery Hospital in Atlanta, and that would be something she and her fellow nurses would do.  Even after working long shifts, sometimes 24 hours straight, they volunteer at homeless shelters, animal shelters, schools and such.  Nurses are amazingly giving people!

                        '24 hours straight' is illegal.  Now Physicians, especially Residents follow 'recommended' hours, but not set in stone.  Where I retired from, a PICU, we worked 12 hours and KY allows you to work four more hours if mandated. (I had FMLA forbidding this).

                        Regardless of that, it is true that we take care of our own and applaud their gifts to needy co-workers.

                          sweetie7398's avatar - flower2

                          United States
                          Member #22701
                          September 30, 2005
                          13960 Posts

                          Wonderful.  This makes me proud to be a NurseLovies

                          Life, love, family Love

                            Artist77's avatar - batman14

                            United States
                            Member #121739
                            January 16, 2012
                            7775 Posts

                            My roommate from freshman year of college is a nicu nurse. Great person and still a great friend years later.

                            Je vous salue, Marie, pleine de grace.  We will rebuild!