Honolulu, Hawaii — Leahi Hospital kicked off Nursing Home Week today by celebrating a special wedding anniversary for its oldest resident with a living spouse. Florentina Marquez, 95, and her husband, Benny, 99, celebrated 60 years of marriage with a cake decorated with their 1943 wedding photo. The couple shared their special day with close to a dozen hospital residents and staff members.
“We strongly felt that the love shared by these two individuals is an extremely important but sometimes overlooked factor to maintaining one’s quality of health,” said Vincent Lee, hospital administrator. “It most certainly goes way beyond the quality of care we strive to provide our residents.”
Benny and Florentina met while working at Hickam Air Force Base during World War II, and married in 1943. What followed were years of love, trust, and dependence on each other. During Florentina’s early 80s, she developed several health problems. Florentina’s declining health progressed to the point that she needed nursing home care. She was admitted to Leahi Hospital in 2002. It took consistent reassurances and regular visits to Leahi Hospital to help Benny understand that his wife was in good hands. Benny turns 99 this year, continues to look forward to visiting his wife – catching the bus from Liliha to the Kaimuki nursing-facility on a three-times-a-week basis.
The Alexander Young 5 Unit Head Nurse Lana Ige added, “Our nursing and other patient support staff get just as excited as family members do when milestone events such as this one happen. Each long-term care patient becomes part of our Leahi Hospital family.”
Leahi Hospital is one of 12 facilities operated and managed by the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation (HHSC). Established in 1996, HHSC is a public benefit corporation of the State of Hawaii. As the state’s safety-net healthcare system, HHSC continues to fulfill the state’s promise to provide quality, hometown healthcare.