Ronald and Vivie Baseford’s hearts of service led them to each other.
Ron began volunteering at Vidant Medical Center (VMC) around January of 2019 and has worked as a patient escort since. Vivie stopped working about two years ago and began volunteering at VMC in October of 2019. It didn’t take long for Vivie to catch Ron’s eye.
“About a week or two after I started, we passed each other in the hall,” Vivie said.
“We were wheeling patients,” Ron said. “Vivie and I passed each other in the corridors a couple of times and smiled and I said ‘Oh boy. I wish everyone had a smile like yours.’ And we just took it from there.”
There were lunches in the cafeteria at VMC before things became a little more formal. Dinners at Vivie’s house and date nights around town became the norm for them. They travel together, love watching movies and both find a piece of joy in spending time serving others.
When the pandemic began to intensify, the volunteering at VMC was halted but Ron and Vivie grew closer together. They decided to move in together and were married on July 7, 2020.
“We’ve been happy ever since,” Ron said. “We have the same interests. We love to travel, we love to go places in the car and visit places around here. We like to go up in the mountains and hike and see some of the waterfalls in that area.”
The time away from volunteering left some quality honeymoon time for the two, and they kept busy while away from helping patients, families and team members at VMC. They returned to volunteering about eight weeks ago, both on Monday mornings but in different areas of the hospital.
Vivie volunteers in the Eddie & Allison Jo Smith Tower and is happy to be back helping serve her community. Her love for the medical field goes back to her schooling days. While her first husband attended medical school, she sat in on classes with him and later worked with the Red Cross for a number of years.
“I always had an interest in that type of thing,” Vivie said. “When my first husband was stationed in Germany, I worked for the Red Cross and I volunteered. When he went into Rocky Mount to start his practice, I worked at the Red Cross also. I’ve been doing stuff like this practically all my life.”
She said she has enjoys interacting with patients and Vidant team members and the opportunity to be involved in health care again.
“When I was working, I worked as a teller at a bank, so I love people,” she said. “Just to be with people and help them, it makes me feel so good. Anything I can do for them, anywhere I can take them is just great. It’s very fulfilling to me.”
Ron, known as Mr. Ron around VMC, said he loves to meet new people and his role as a patient escort gives him the chance to talk to many different people each Monday.
“I like to talk to people,” he said. “While we’re walking, most of them are tense because they don’t know what they’re going to do and I certainly can’t help them with that but I talk to them about the weather and where they’re from and so forth and so on. We both very much look forward to going in on Mondays.”
Another benefit, Ron said, is the exercise he gets while escorting patients during his four-hour volunteering shifts. He said the exercise app he uses says he averages between five and six miles most Mondays while walking with patients and families through the hospital.
“It always pleases me because, all the people there, not only the patients but relatives that go with them sometimes, are all so very appreciative,” he said. “That’s always what makes it worth walking that six miles.”
“The people that work at the hospital are so appreciative of us, too, which really makes a difference,” Vivie added. “They make us feel like part of the team and they’re such nice people.”
If you would like to join Ron, Vivie and the other amazing volunteers at Vidant Health, visit VidantHealth.com/Volunteers/.