Joan and Robert Otte of Lockport were thrilled when they received an invitation to attend a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Silver Cross Hospital.
They didn’t waste time signing up to get the shot together.
But little did the 73-year-old pair know they’d be making history when they arrived for their first dose.
Joan was the hospital’s 9,999th vaccine recipient and Robert was the 10,000th! The couple received the news from the Administrative Director of Pharmacy Services, Frank Butler.
“That’s amazing,” Robert said. “We’d been looking for a vaccine. So, this was really good.”
The Ottes know firsthand how serious the coronavirus can be. Their son-in-law was hospitalized with COVID-19 last November. Thankfully, he recovered.
“My first thought is that we’ve had COVID here for almost a year,” Robert added. “This vaccine is going to turn that around.”
Wife Joan agrees.
“We were so excited to sign up,” she said.
With two daughters, seven granddaughters and a 50th anniversary on the way in October, the Ottes have plenty of reasons to celebrate.
The Ottes are from Elk Grove Village. They relocated to Lockport several years ago to be closer to their family and found their healthcare home at Silver Cross.
“We watched this place go up,” Robert added about the hospital’s construction and opening at its current location in early 2012. And while they admired the hospital from afar, over the years, they became familiar with what it has to offer on the inside too.
Joan underwent a robotic-assisted gallbladder surgery through the hospital’s renowned Midwest Institute for Robotic Surgery, and Robert had a carotid artery procedure through the hospital’s Neuroscience Institute.
“We knew were in a good place here,” he added.
Silver Cross Supporting State Vaccine Plan
Silver Cross has been active in support of the state’s vaccination plan since mid-December when it began vaccinating healthcare workers. The hospital has vaccinated area law enforcement officers, EMS/firefighters and nearly 4,000 Will County teachers. Recently, the hospital began vaccinating individuals 65 years and older.
“Silver Cross has been at the frontlines of COVID-19 since it arrived in our community in March of last year,” President and Chief Executive Officer Ruth Colby said.
The hospital has cared for nearly 2,000 COVID-19 patients; performed more than 48,000 COVID-19 tests, and recently reached another milestone when it gave its 10,000th vaccine.
“We are privileged to provide this service to our community that we know will save lives,” she added. “We’re grateful to collaborate with the Will County Health Department in these vaccination clinics and will continue to do all that we can to help bring an end to COVID-19.”
Colby praised the entire hospital team for its dedication throughout the pandemic and for quickly mobilizing to vaccinate thousands.
“I’m so proud of our entire Silver Cross family and our role in vaccinating our community,” she added.
For more information about Silver Cross, visit silvercross.org.
Silver Cross Hospital
1900 Silver Cross Blvd
New Lenox, IL 60541