Surprise proposal for Burr Ridge nurse at La Grange Hospital
Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital Registered Nurse and Clinical Coordinator Emily Hagen and Curtis Cribben following Cribben’s Dec. 19 proposal at the hospital.
Updated: February 4, 2013 6:13AM
LA GRANGE — Registered nurse Emily Hagen had already had a meeting Dec. 19 to discuss some of her new duties as a clinical coordinator at Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. And her supervisors had notified her they would have to send her home at 5 p.m., because her hours were nearly up.
That didn’t seem quite right. Hagen, who is from Burr Ridge, knew her hours weren’t nearing an end. In fact, she was scheduled to work until 7 p.m.
At the same time, they were talking about opening another part of the unit because of a busy patient caseload. Then a patient light went off in the part of the unit everyone was talking about opening up.
“I was discharging on the fourth floor, and they told me we might have woken someone up in the sleep lab,” Hagen said.
So she went to answer the call and entered the room in question.
“We could hear her say, ‘Hi, can I help you?’” Medical Surgical Services Director Candice Washilewski said.
The man in the room spoke, Washilewski said, and the next thing the staff could hear was Hagen crying.
But these were tears of joy, not sadness. Waiting in the room for her was Hagen’s boyfriend of six and a half years, Curtis Cribben, sitting on a patient bed. On a table before him were a dozen roses and a box. In the box, a ring.
“It took me a couple seconds to realize what was going on,” Hagen said.
Cribben got down on one knee.
“It was kind of cute because the call light was still going off, and I was still in nurse mode,” Hagen said. “He said some very sweet things, and asked me to marry him.”
Tearfully, Hagen said yes. The newly engaged couple left the room, to find Hagen’s family and nurses from throughout the hospital waiting in the hallway, applauding and taking photos.
“Word had traveled,” Washilewski said. “There were some other people that wanted to be there to stand by and congratulate her when she came out of the room. Everybody had to hide around the corner.”
Hagen’s mother, general surgeon Colleen Hagen, had called a few days earlier about bringing Cribben in to surprise her daughter, Washilewski said.
“Apparently they had a conference call on Tuesday, and I was on the floor Tuesday working as well,” Hagen said. “They all did a good job keeping it from me.”
The Dec. 19 proposal was the first Washilewski knew of at the hospital, she said. She sent Hagen home early that night, so the couple could celebrate.
“Curtis and I had dinner and relaxed and got to celebrate together,” Hagen said.