David Heaper’s Story: My Partner for a Game of 21

David Heaper’s Story- My Partner for a Game of 21

David Heaper and his girlfriend with one of their gifts for the WMMC Med/Surg Staff

Warrensburg, MO (February 24, 2021)—At Western Missouri Medical Center (WMMC), our hospital staff sees dozens of patients every day. However, some patients leave a mark like David Heaper.

David Heaper, a Johnson County resident, came to WMMC for cellulitis, a bacterial infection on his foot. After several treatments, including the hyperbaric oxygen chamber and IV infusions, his foot’s infection worsened and spread to his bone. As a result, David underwent a transmetatarsal amputation (TMA) surgically removing part of his foot in October of 2020.

During his stay at WMMC, David recognized the hard work and long hours the staff endured during the pandemic. While David was at WMMC, he came in contact with several staff members and took it upon himself to give them a short breather away from their busy jobs. David asked each employee that came to his room to play a game of 21– a short, 30-second game that allowed the staff to take a small break and have a little laugh.

“With all the stress, I just wanted to give them 30 seconds of laughter and a little breather,” said David. “I didn’t want to take up too much time, just something to get them away from all the chaos.”

After David was released, he still felt the need to show the staff at WMMC how much he appreciated their care. As an employee at a local Hallmark distribution center, he knew the joy of gift-giving and brought the Medical/Surgical Unit staff over 30 Hallmark stuffed animals. He even attached a playing card to each animal’s tag so they would remember him and his game.

“All the nurses, doctors, and cleaning staff are such heroes right now,” said David. “There are not enough words to thank them for what they do.”

Thank you, David, for showing our staff some appreciation during this chaotic time. We appreciate your kindness and the reminder that we all need to take a 30-second break and laugh occasionally.



Contact: Eleanore Eye

Marketing Manager

(660) 262-7472



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WMMC and Cerner Partner for Virtual Visits

Bob’s Story- My Partner for Hometown Orthopedic Care

Mollie’s Story- Understanding the Complexity of the Covid-19 Virus



About Western Missouri Medical Center

Western Missouri Medical Center (WMMC) is a fully-accredited acute care county medical center located in Warrensburg, MO. WMMC prides itself in emergency care, obstetrics, orthopedic and general surgery, family healthcare, internal medicine, outpatient clinics, ambulatory care, rehabilitation services and more. Inpatient services include medical, surgical, intensive, obstetrical, orthopedic, pediatric and skilled nursing care, as well as a wide range of therapeutic and diagnostic outpatient services. This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Learn more at WMMC.com