For Joseph Chandler, it was never too late to help others in need

Joseph Chandler was the type of man who inspired kindness from those around him. Retired from Trans World Airlines, friends and family knew him as someone always ready to lend a hand and help those in need. But when Joseph began feeling sick in June 2008, he was the one in need, so his family took him to North Kansas City Hospital.

Just recently diagnosed with small cell prostate cancer, his illness was complicated by an infection that had spread throughout his body. "I had hoped we would be able to bring him home, but that wasn't to be," says his wife, Rose Alice Chandler. "He just wasn't going to get better." Instead, Chandler spent his final days on North Kansas City Hospital's 8th floor Pavilion, with Mrs. Chandler at his side.

"I didn't want to leave him," she says. "We met shortly after World War II and were married several months later. We had spent our entire lives together, raising four children. I think the nursing staff understood how much I wanted to be there for him, how much he meant to me."

They also understood how much the couple's wedding vows meant to them. "We celebrated our 62nd wedding anniversary on Aug. 4," Mrs. Chandler says. "Joe couldn't come home, so the nurses on the 8th floor brought in a card, a cake and flowers to help us celebrate. It was very sweet of them."

Chandler's final act of kindness was to donate blood for prostate cancer research. "That was Joe's way of helping someone else," Mrs. Chandler says. On Aug. 6, he passed away, but his wife will long remember the hospital staff's compassion. "Because we spent several weeks at the hospital, we got to know the staff well. The nurses were very dedicated, very caring people. Even though the hospital wasn't where we wanted to be for our wedding anniversary, they did all they could to make it a memorable day."

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