Western Springs volunteer’s respect for nurses grows as a patient at Hinsdale Hospital
Susan Bonnevier of Western Springs volunteers in Same Day Surgery at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital.
Updated: April 8, 2013 6:05AM
HINSDALE — Adventist Hinsdale Hospital Volunteer of the Month Susan Bonnevier has always appreciated the nurses she works with in the hospital’s Same Day Surgery unit.
“They are good friends, and they’re like little angels,” Bonnevier says.
Her respect for the nurses became all the greater after Bonnevier’s role changed from volunteer to patient. The Western Springs resident recently underwent treatment at the hospital for breast cancer.
Bonnevier said she was blessed because the matter was a small one, much smaller than many have to deal with. But her worry was great nonetheless, especially in the beginning. She is thankful not just for the nurses in day surgery, but for the hospital as a whole.
“They took good care of me,” she said. “I cannot say there was any department that was not very caring and gave me lots of confidence.”
Bonnevier has volunteered at the hospital for the past eight years. She volunteered at Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital in the 1960s, but took a break as her family grew and as she focused on her career as a teacher. She taught first in La Grange Park Elementary District 102, then Western Springs Elementary District 101 and later in Downers Grove District 58.
By the time she retired from teaching, Bonnevier was at the university level, helping train student teachers at Benedictine University.
“I had taught for many years, and it was good,” she said. “I had a change in my life. My husband passed away. I had lots of new things to do … I decided I needed something else that’s not so busy anymore.”
And yet, busy she remains. Bonnevier volunteers at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital once a week, on Mondays. She’s also a volunteer gardener at the Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook and a volunteer at The Corner Shoppe in La Grange. She’s also a member of the Western Springs Garden Club and active in the Women’s Society at Congregational Church in Western Springs.
Mary Pulaski, clinical coordinator of Same Day Surgery at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital, nominated Bonnevier for the volunteer of the month award.
“Susan is an example of the ideal volunteer,” Pulaski said in her nomination of Bonnevier. “She arrives on time and is cheerful and upbeat. She is kind to both patients and staff and will assist anyone.”
Bonnevier said it’s a blessing to be able to give back to the hospital, and the work has been worthwhile. She has great appreciation for the nurses and their work.
“The things I do are kind of minimal, but it certainly helps them,” Bonnevier said. “That’s why I’m there.”