Finding Big Mama

davitaDavita is an American company that does dialysis. They have about 2,000 clinics all over America where 160,000 patients come to get dialysis 3 times a week.

If you know someone with failing kidneys, you know that getting dialysis is incredibly tough physically. However, dialysis is what keeps you alive. If you can’t get your treatments, after just a few days your body shuts down and you die.

This became critical after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. Remember, this is what the city looked like at the time and many patients couldn’t get to the Davita clinics for their treatment:

Davita employee Brian Applewhite describes one attempt to locate a patient:

The first thing we did after the storm was start looking for our patients, and I literally had to cut through trees to find them.

There was one lady that we called Mrs. B. She lived in a low-income area, and I was walking through the streets screaming her name, but no one was responding. I remembered that she once told me that people called here “Big Mama,” so I tried screaming that.

They pointed me to the house with the big tree on it! Big Mama hadn’t dialyzed in three days, and when I walked in, she said she thought she’d seen a ghost.

Brian got her to dialysis in time and she made it.

Two things stand out to me about this story. First, that an employee will go to such length for a customer. Going out into post-hurricane New Orleans must have been scary to say the least.

But also, the reason he found Mrs. B. at all was that he knew her well enough personally to know that she was also called Big Mama. He had a relationship with her that was more than just transactional – it was personal.

I hear many stories of employees being good human beings in the course of their work and this one is another great example. Have you ever heard of or done something similar at work? Let me know in a comment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.