DETROIT – Henry Ford Hospital emergency department workers were surprised this week when a delivery truck with Mom’s Spaghetti pulled up, courtesy of Detroit-native musician Eminem.
Michelle Thompson, a nearly 20-year employee of Henry Ford Health System and the nurse in charge of the Henry Ford Hospital Emergency Department night shift on April 20, took the call that food was on the way at about 7 p.m.
“Then the truck from Union Joint arrived and I said, ‘Let me get a picture of the side of the van,’” she said. “And they said, ‘No, no, no, this isn’t from us; it’s from Eminem. He wants to thank you guys for everything you’re doing.’ That’s how we found out. And everyone was shocked. We said, ‘Are you joking? That’s so amazing!’ Everybody was super excited.
“It spread like wildfire that we got ‘Mom’s Spaghetti,’” Thompson said. “We’re excited about all the food we get. And when it’s from a celebrity that’s local, it makes you feel even more special.”
The delivery was one of three food donations that night. The Syrian American Medical Society dropped off shawarma, chips and soda; Charlie’s Still on Main in Milford dropped off chicken sandwiches and salads.
Together, the food was shared with staff in housekeeping, transport, the medical intensive care unit and the team responsible for admitting, transferring and managing the occupancy for patients in the hospital.
“We shared it with others to let them know we think of them too, and appreciate them,” Thompson said. “We get the attention in the emergency department, and we love that and it makes us feel special. But we want everyone else to know we recognize how hard they’re working.”
While the numbers of COVID-19 patients have stabilized, the work is still intense, she said.
“COVID patients are a lot more work; it’s a lot of work donning and doffing the PPE (personal protective equipment), and when they are coming in, they’re very, very sick,” she said. “And knowing the possible outcome, it’s emotionally draining on us. Things like this lift our spirits.”
An additional worry these days for emergency department workers is that people who need medical care are not coming in because they are concerned about becoming infected with COVID-19.
“We have hot and cold areas,” said Thompson, inadvertently using a reference often used in commercial kitchens. “Non-COVID patients are kept separate from COVID patients. We are getting concerned that people are staying away that should be coming in: strokes, heart attacks, etcetera. They don’t know that we’re keeping patients separate. They need to come in and can do so very safely.”
Media contact: Tammy Battaglia / Tbattag1@hfhs.org / 248-881-0809