Before he suffered an injury to his hip requiring hospitalization and inpatient rehabilitation, James Leeds had big plans in the making.
He was looking forward to celebrating his one-year wedding anniversary with wife Joanne. Two days after that, the couple planned to officially obtain the keys to a home they had decided to purchase together. Instead, the couple celebrated their anniversary with cake in the Transitional Care Unit at Passavant Area Hospital. Despite making steady progress in his recovery, James’ care team deemed him not yet fit to leave the hospital to attend the home closing.
Upset at the thought that she and her husband would not be able to sign the closing documents on their new home together, Joanne telephoned Shawn McCombs at CNB Bank and Trust in Jacksonville to ask if he and the home sellers and their representation might come to Passavant to seal the deal.
McCombs and the sellers agreed, and hospital staff, led by Chaplain Patsy Kelly, arranged a meeting room for the couple to use, complete with coffee and celebratory pastries from the hospital’s cafeteria.
The morning of the closing – Monday, Sept. 23 – James was brought to the meeting room in a wheelchair. Patient identification bands dangled from his wrist as he and Joanne took turns signing closing documents.
“I’m looking forward to them pronouncing us ‘couple and house,’” James joked before the couple accepted the keys to their new home, Joanne dabbing at tears.
Charles McNeely, who was present at the closing, said he has met clients at Passavant numerous times in his career to facilitate legal decisions of a patient or patient’s family. This meeting with the Leeds was a first for the seasoned attorney.
In 45 years of practice, McNeely said, he had never visited the hospital to facilitate a real estate closing.