A Cheeseburger Promise
Story 86

by CJ Anderson
Takeout bag and drink

A police officer is standing in the emergency department holding a bag of fast food. What is he doing there? Fulfilling a promise.

Earlier, a Portland police officer named Vosu was speaking with a community member in response to an emergency call, trying to understand their situation and how he could help. This person needed to go to the hospital, but they expressed that they were afraid to go – and that they were hungry. Seeking to help in any way he could, Officer Vosu offered a deal: “Go to the ED in an ambulance, and I'll bring you a cheeseburger.”

His quick-thinking worked. The patient was transported by ambulance to the hospital to receive behavioral health care. And true to his word, Officer Vosu arrived later with the promised meal. Amid the challenges and stress of a day at the hospital, his gesture sparked hope and gratitude among staff. Something simple became something powerful.

“Officer Vosu’s actions were inspiring," says Rhannon Boatman, RN, emergency department manager at Adventist Health Portland. "He took the time to listen and assist a member of our community in a very challenging situation. This officer displayed great kindness and compassion. He is a shining example of how we all can connect and care for one another with even the simplest of gestures. It was a remarkable moment that made a difference in the patient’s life and left a lasting impression on the staff working in the emergency department that day.”