Woman praises loyal employer, staff

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 22, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

In spite of adversities, Joyce Martin Hall is still blessed to have friends and family who are at her side and an employer and his wife who went that extra mile toward her healing process.

Hall started working at Masters Cleaners on Feb. 24 last year, and was trained by her employer, Ben Latta. She was given three raises before she had to leave that job due to cartilage in her knee wearing down.

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She was admitted to Obici on July 21, and soon after Latta visited her.

&uot;He brought me flowers and told me that he and his wife would be there for me and that whatever I may need they would be willing to help me,&uot; Hall said. &uot;They even continued to check on me after I got out of the hospital on July 24, 2003. Soon after I was admitted to Autumn Care Nursing Home.&uot;

Hall was discharged from the Nursing home in August 2003. Meanwhile, work at the Master Cleaners had to go on and whenever employees received bonuses, so did Hall. At that time he told her no matter how long it took for her to get well, she would always have a job at the business.

By Thanksgiving, Hall had a setback. Christmas came and she was able attend a party held for employees. There she received a Christmas bonus, a 20-place china setting, and an envelope from the entire staff. She also informed Latta and the employees then that another knee surgery was scheduled to be performed on her on Jan. 5.

&uot;I was informed two days after the surgery that infection had set in, that the knee would not be able to be put back in and that I would have to spend time again in a nursing home. I called Mr. Latta and told him what the doctor said and that I may not be able to go back to work until July 2004. He told me how sorry he was and prayed with me on the telephone. After the prayer, he reassured me that when I needed to be transported he would be more than glad to assist me in any way he could.

&uot;Mr. Latta and his wife were very helpful in getting me to the home. They are the type of people who are not just there as employers but they also have a way of doing whatever needs to be done to assist their employees in their personal lives – whether it is through fasting, prayer, monetary gifts or anything else they really stand by their employees,&uot;.

Hall was admitted to the nursing home on Jan. 8 and discharged Jan. 17. She was home only two days before she began to have chest pains and was admitted to Obici’s CCU Unit again on Jan, 19 for heart problems.

It was touch-and-go for a while and doctors thought they were going to lose Hall. Her mother, Mamie Martin-Ross, said family gathered around her bed to pray for her and in about two weeks, she was well enough to go home once more Jan. 26, but still waiting for some infection to clear up in her leg.

On Feb. 16 she was back in Obici. Her knee is now replaced and she is recuperating quite well.

&uot;My leg is in a machine and I am in a lot of pain, but I can tolerate it. Through all of these illnesses the Lattas have been there for me along with my family with their support and prayers, and I want to thank them for it. I pray that God will continue to bless them.

&uot;I am an interior designer and have worked at the Newport News Shipyard for 13 years as a senior payroll data clerk, but my employment at Master Cleaners is the best job that I have ever had in my entire life,&uot; said Hall.