Hospital:

Cherry Hill Family, Business Gives Back to Jefferson Health After Life-Changing Experience

June 15, 2020

A life-changing medical experience can stick with someone for many years; doctors, nurses, and even hospitals often hold a special place in the hearts of these grateful patients. Chuck and Marian Grimley, of Cherry Hill – whose relationship with Jefferson spans several decades - would call this an understatement.

The couple, on behalf of their family and their business, Grimley Financial Corporation (GFC), recently donated $3,500 to the Jefferson Enterprise COVID-19 Better Together Fund in support of employees and students facing hardships related to the pandemic. They also delivered a tasty meal from Chick’s Deli to more than 60 Jefferson Cherry Hill Hospital employees.

Accompanied by vibrant roses and a large banner saying, “Our True Heroes,” the meals were meant to express the couple’s heartfelt appreciation. “Every day during this pandemic, healthcare workers knowingly place their own lives at risk to save others and keep families together. They answer the call fearlessly and care for patients relentlessly,” said Chuck, founder of GFC.

Chuck and Marian know about Jefferson’s commitment to excellence from their own experience with the healthcare organization, which stretches back nearly 30 years, when the couple’s twin daughters, Lauren and Kristen, were born at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital (TJUH) in Philadelphia in in 1992. It was an easy birth experience, but just a few years later, in 1995, the Grimleys found themselves back at TJUH, struggling with a high-risk pregnancy.

Again, pregnant with twins, Marian was around 18 weeks pregnant when she started experiencing complications; her OB/GYN team discovered that their unborn babies’ growth was compromised – but there was still hope. She was admitted to TJUH for testing and would remain there for nearly three months.

During this challenging time, the hospital became like a second home, with a much-needed, expert support system. Chuck and Marian got to know staff on every level – from clinicians to support team members. Simple conversations became as meaningful as a hug or pat on the back. One of their most memorable nights was Thanksgiving, when they were able to sit down to a peaceful dinner in the quiet TJUH atrium.

The couple also recall the professionalism and dedication of the Jefferson medical team managing their care – experts across the Philadelphia region, from various partnering hospitals, were brought in to help. Support was provided around the clock.

Marian was finally discharged but returned only a week later, in labor. The Grimley’s second set of twins, Chad and Tyler, were born 12 weeks early. Both babies were tiny and frail. Tyler, sadly, died shortly after birth.

While Marian was being cared for, Chuck often visited the hospital’s chapel. Spending many hours in prayer, he not only found solace in his faith, but in the stories of other families also facing medical crises: “The common thread in all the stories was the incredible and nurturing Jefferson staff,” he said.

“My doctors and neonatologists -- on a scale of one to 10 -- were a 12,” Marian recalls. “They were incredibly understanding, skilled, and their bedside manner was extraordinary. We wouldn’t have gotten through this without them.”

Chad, now 24, is as healthy and successful as Chuck and Marian could have ever wished for. According to Chuck, he lives his life knowing that Tyler is always watching over him.

The Grimleys have received medical care from Jefferson many times since the birth of their children, including in recent years for Chuck’s treatment of a rare neurological condition.

Aside from the family’s health history, yet another unique tie the Grimleys have to Jefferson is that Chuck’s grandfather, John Lafferty, once owned the land adjacent to where Jefferson Cherry Hill Hospital sits. Chuck has many fond memories of playing outdoors there and is proud to see how the hospital has grown and continues to flourish. 

“What Marian and I will never forget, in addition to the lifesaving skills of all the staff, is the tremendous comfort, warmth and care provided by Jefferson during an extremely difficult time,” said Chuck. “Jefferson is, and always will be, very near and dear to us.”