A letter to the VCU Medical Center

 Jeffrey and Stephanie Hopper

Photo courtesy of the Hospital Hospitality House
Jeffrey and Stephanie Hopper Photo courtesy of the Hospital Hospitality House

Stephanie Hopper
Wife of Jeffrey Hopper, victim of the D.C. Sniper

Often people pass by our lives and make a difference. Some by skill and training and others by heart. The people that I have had the pleasure of knowing at the VCU Medical Center have both heart and skill. It was a rainy Oct. 19th when I was introduced to the wonderful people at the medical center. My husband, Jeff, had been shot by the D.C. Sniper in Ashland and the ambulance brought us to your hospital. With the two-year anniversary and second trials coming I thought I should write a note. Since the shooting I have tried to stay in touch. If we are ever in the area we stop to visit the Surgical Trauma Intensive Care Unit and catch up with the nurses and staff. My husband and I have eaten at the cafeteria, have had Bottoms Up Pizza, and gone to the Confederate White House. As the years passed, we have gone back to a normal happy life, thanks to the care he got at the VCU Medical Center. You truly made a difference and turned terror to joy. In this time, I have seen sorrow touch Richmond. Hurricane Isabel in 2003 that brought down trees and caused serious damage. MCV Hospitals was the emergency center then and helped in many untold ways. There was a fire that jumped across Broad Street, thankfully not damaging VCU or the Hospitality House. Gang violence has flared up and the STICU is treating more gunshot wounds. Now I hear Hurricane Gaston has brought mud and destruction. And through it all, I know the staff has shone, just as you did when we met in 2002. There is a specialness at the VCU Medical Center that I will never forget. It is that each member of the staff makes a difference and touches lives with heart and skill. I am grateful to have been touched by them.

You are all in my prayers and on my heart till we visit again. This time not by
ambulance :)