• Proposal Story: In Sickness and in Health

    Proposal Story: In Sickness and in Health

    A common patient brings one doctor and social worker together forever.


We have the sweetest love story.

I graduated with my Master of Social Work degree from the University of Iowa in May 2000 and accepted a position at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. as the neuro/neuro surgery social worker. My first day at St. Mary’s Hospital was July 17, 2000.

Chaun graduated from medical school from the University of North Dakota in May 2000. He accepted a Family Medicine Residency at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. His first day was July 1, 2000.

Fast-forward a few months to October 2000, when Chaun was on his family medicine inpatient rotation. He had an overflow family medicine patient at Mayo who was placed at St. Mary’s, on the floor where I worked.

These are Chaun’s words: “I was walking down the hallway with my consultant. He was telling me about the patient we were going to see, but I don’t remember a word he said. I was so focused on the beautiful woman writing in the medical chart. I saw her finish her note and watched her walk away.”

The chart I was writing in happened to belong to Chaun’s patient. Chaun paged me several times over the next couple of days to chat about the discharge plan of that sweet patient, as the patient was going to require a nursing home stay.

A day later I was visiting with the patient and his family about the nursing home placement, and I looked up and in the doorway was Chaun – the most gorgeous man I have ever seen – looking all handsome in his scrubs and lab coat. Chaun asked if he could listen while I finished my conversation with the patient and family. As I watched him interact with the patient and family, I was blown away by his kindness and compassion, as well as his bedside manner. I fell in love with him at that moment.

After speaking to the patient, we both stepped out of the room. I was documenting the conversation from the visit, and Chaun was answering a page. When he finished, he asked me out. We have been together ever since.

We still continue to work together in the hospital/clinic setting, in sickness and in health. We have shared some really heart-wrenching cases as well as some heartwarming ones. I fall more in love with Chaun everyday. He is such an amazing husband, father and doctor.

We got engaged at the end of his three-year residency. Chaun took at family medicine position with Mayo Clinic Health System – Mankato. I have a job working at the same organization, as the outpatient pediatric/adolescent clinical social worker. We continue to share patients and families from time to time.

Before I left my job at Mayo Clinic in Rochester – which was two days before our wedding – the nurses from my floor gifted me with the room plate and the crucifix from the patient room where Chaun and I fell in love. I gave them to Chaun the night before we got married, and they hang in our home as a reminder of where our love story began.

– Kate and Chaun, Mankato, MN


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