Specialty Hospital Arranges Heisman Watch Party for Patient, Grandmother of Winner

Written by

Woman sitting up in hospital bed while being assisted by two adults

Eighty-one year old Gladys Henry is in the hospital, but she couldn’t be in better spirits.  On Saturday night, about 30 of Gladys’ family members gathered at her bedside at HCA Healthcare’s Specialty Hospital in Jacksonville, Fla., to watch her grandson Derrick Henry accept the 2015 Heisman trophy.

The mother of 14 and grandmother of 26 is extremely close with Derrick and played an instrumental role in raising him.  The family jokes that the Alabama running back, who grew up in Yulee, Fla., is her 15th child. If Gladys hadn’t been hospitalized, family members say she would have traveled to New York City for the Heisman ceremony with Derrick and his parents. Originally planning a watch party in Yulee, the family thought it wouldn’t be complete without Gladys.  That’s why they brought the party to her at Speciality.

Hospital leaders made special arrangements so the family could enjoy the ceremony together.   Gladys was moved from her hospital room to the rehab gym, a large enough space to accommodate the family; extra staff, including a nurse and respiratory therapist, was on hand; and oxygen and other necessary equipment was available to meet Gladys’ medical needs.  A large screen TV was also made available so the family could watch the ceremony on live television.

During the 90-minute show, ESPN aired several feature stories about the finalists, including one that focused on the close relationship between Gladys and Derrick. When his name was announced as the Heisman winner, the family jumped out of their seats, cheered and embraced each other.  Gladys, sporting her grandson’s jersey, held family members hands tightly and beamed from her hospital bed.

Watch their special reaction below:

As if that moment wasn’t special enough for Gladys, Derrick then thanked his grandmother during his acceptance speech and credited his success to the love and support she always provided.

At Speciality Hospital, we want to congratulate Derrick on his Heisman trophy honor and wish Gladys well.  We hope you two can reunite soon.

See more on Derrick and Gladys’ special relationship on ESPN.

About HCA Healthcare

HCA Healthcare, one of the nation's leading providers of healthcare services, is comprised of 182 hospitals and more than 2,300 sites of care, in 20 states and the United Kingdom. Our more than 283,000 colleagues are connected by a single purpose — to give patients healthier tomorrows.

As an enterprise, we recognize the significant responsibility we have as a leading healthcare provider within each of the communities we serve, as well as the opportunity we have to improve the lives of the patients for whom we are entrusted to care. Through the compassion, knowledge and skill of our caregivers, and our ability to leverage our scale and innovative capabilities, HCA Healthcare is in a unique position to play a leading role in the transformation of care.

Recent articles