In 1951, a doctor in Seattle accepted a 50-cent payment from a young orphan for a year’s worth of treatments after the boy was diagnosed with a rare bone disorder. Years later, that boy went on to become a doctor, and now, following his death, his wife had donated their estate to that hospital.
Dale Brownell was able to receive a year of treatments as a child from a doctor at Seattle Children’s Hospital even though he was only able to pay 50 cents.
“The man told him it was just fine. That he had given everything he had and didn't have to worry about the rest of the bill,” said Brownell’s wife Judith. “But of course he worried.”
Inspired by the generosity of the doctor, Brownell fulfilled his vow to become a doctor himself, but when he got older, he was still unable to fulfill his other self-promise to repay the debt he owed to the doctor.
Suddenly, in 1991, Brownell died of a heart attack, and at that point, Judith had told him that she would make sure that his debt to the hospital was repaid.
Now, at 74 years old, Judith, also a doctor, has donated their entire $1.5 million estate to Seattle Children’s Hospital.
“I promised him I would keep that promise,” said Judith. “So, that's what I'm doing.”
Judith says she hopes that by giving their entire estate to the hospital, they will be able to help children the same way her husband was helped all those years ago.