A Life-Saving Surgery Inspires A Memorable Marriage Milestone
In the hospitality industry, we relish the opportunity to brighten another’s day. But it’s quite rare that we have the chance to save a guest’s life – and this story is one our associates at Grand Hyatt Taipei will never forget.
While staying at the hotel, Neil Holmes collapsed during a morning workout at the Grand Hyatt Taipei gym. Thanks to the hotel staff’s quick action, Mr. Holmes was transported to the Taipei Medical University Hospital and underwent emergency surgery for an aorta root aneurysm rupture – an event from which only one percent of those suffering ever make it to the hospital in time.
“Without that high level of professionalism, my emergency would not have been handled so well. I would not have made it to the operating table in time to save my life,” said Mr. Holmes. “I’m lucky to be here!”
Naturally, Mr. Holmes’ wife flew from their home in Massachusetts to be with her husband during his recovery. During Mr. Holmes’ successful seven-day recovery, his appreciation for life and thankfulness to have his wife by his side took on new meaning. Once he was feeling well enough to start using his laptop in the hospital, he reached out to a hotel associate who had been especially compassionate throughout the event, Resident Manager Frances Tsai, to ask for assistance in arranging a surprise ceremony for he and his wife to renew their vows after 30 years of marriage.
“Whenever I went to visit him and his wife in the hospital, I was always overwhelmed by the incredible amount of courage, faith and love I could feel in their presence,” Frances said. “So you can imagine how excited and honored I felt when Mr. Holmes asked me to help him organize the surprise for his wife! He wanted to renew their vows during a time when he had been given a second chance in life, having said ‘a new heart and a new start!'”
Frances and the hotel staff were incredibly excited when the time came, as they set up Mr. and Mrs. Holmes in a special booth at Bel Air restaurant.
“When he presented her with the new diamond ring he had asked me to pick out for her, and the lovely bouquet I was able to design for the moment, and I saw the emotion on her face – that was truly a priceless moment,” said Frances. “I can’t help smiling whenever I think of them. I do genuinely believe it is such a privilege to be able to touch the lives of others in what we do in the hotel. I love my job!”
The Holmes’ left Taipei at the start of December, nearly a month later. They truly left the hotel as part of the family.
“After my open-heart surgery, before I could return home, they made us feel as comfortable as if we were at home,” said Mr. Holmes. “I just really appreciate everything they did for us and I consider myself truly lucky that it happened while staying at the Grand Hyatt Taipei.”