The recent mass shooting in Las Vegas captured the hearts and emotions of many — especially Lahey’s operating room staff.
So, when Rhonda DiCarlo, an OR nurse at LHMC, saw news of the tragedy, she wanted to express gratitude for her counterparts across the country and have lunch delivered.
“I was so saddened by the tragedy in Vegas, I felt I needed to do something to help,” DiCarlo said.” We all knew the staff in Vegas were going to be working for days straight with little time to go to the café for food. We wanted to pay it forward.”
Dicarlo approached Nurse Manager Renee Soto about sending a pizza delivery to the Vegas operating room staff. Soto was enthusiastic in her agreement.
“Think of the countless hours they’ve spent taking care of these patients,” Soto said.
An email to LHMC’s OR staff was sent alerting them to the idea and asking for donations. Then Soto called the operating room at University Medical Center in Las Vegas, the city’s only level-1 trauma facility where many of the 500-plus shooting victims were taken for treatment.
“I told them that our colleagues at Lahey in Burlington, Massachusetts were thinking about them, that we feel for them and want to send them pizza,” Soto said.
As it turns out, there is a Pizza Hut near the hospital; it’s a place where the UMC OR staff has ordered from in the past.
Soto placed the order online — 30 pizzas and a $30 tip totaling $275 — but Pizza Hut declined the transaction because she wasn’t there in person to sign the receipt.
Not giving up, Soto called the company’s emergency hotline, a Pizza Hut 911, so to speak. She was routed to the corporation’s district manager, who allowed the order to go through.
“The next day I reached out to the hospital and they were very grateful,” Soto said. “The person I spoke with joked that there was enough pizza for lunch that day.”