A Story of Hope: The Dancing Patient

Nov 3, 2023


At 95 years old, Virginia Burrow has been a beacon of resiliency her entire life. She grew up on an Oklahoma farm, relocated to California with her late husband in the 1940s, and lived in a chicken coop for their first few months until they could find housing. Sixty years ago, they opened Burrow's Garage, a mechanic shop where her husband and son fixed cars while she managed the store. Virginia worked there for several years, retiring at the age of 90.

It should come as no surprise, then, that after suffering a fractured hip at her home Virginia became determined to return to her favorite activity – dancing. And, with the help of Adventist Health and Rideout team, she was able to do just that.

A Dancer at Heart

According to her daughter, Glenda Frazier, Virginia has always been very active. She routinely enjoys gardening and spending time with her friends, but her favorite activity is dancing. For years, she would go dancing with her husband every weekend.

After her husband passed away, Glenda said, Virginia continued to dance every week at the Olivehurst Moose Lodge as part of a senior community group.

An Unfortunate Event

One day, as she was working in her garden, Virginia fell and broke her hip.

"When I saw my mom on the floor, I knew it was bad,” Glenda said. “My heart just sank. We were really scared."

Virginia was transported to Adventist Health and Rideout, where she had multiple surgeries and a lengthy stay. Glenda said her mother's primary goal was to recover quickly and be able to attend a special annual dance organized by her community. However, a few days before the dance, Virginia experienced some complications that brought her back to the hospital.

The Dance of Hope


Virginia's desire to dance again caught the attention of Joshua Victor, a dedicated Occupational Therapist at Adventist Health and Rideout.

Touched by Virginia's spirit, Joshua took it upon himself to help her recover and make her dream of dancing again come true.

On the day of the community dance, right after their therapy session, Joshua surprised Virginia with the sweet chords of Patsy Cline's "Walkin' After Midnight," her favorite song. With a warm smile, he extended his hand to Virginia and invited her to dance. Virginia's family, who had been with her throughout her recovery journey, watched with tears of happiness how she reclaimed a simple yet profound joy - the joy of dancing.

"She had the biggest smile on her face," Glenda said. "Josh did more for her during her hospital stay than anything else, he lifted her spirit, helped her overcome depression, and brought back her old self."

During a recent conversation, Virginia said that outside of the medications she is taking, she is feeling well and has returned to her regular activities. In fact, she had plans to go out for tacos with her friends the next day.

For Joshua, helping patients like Virginia achieve such recoveries is part of his purpose.

“I am grateful for crossing paths with Virginia and having the chance to make a difference,” Joshua said. “At the end of the day, that is what healthcare is all about.”