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Denver7 Everyday Hero refills oxygen tanks with a smile for patients, staff

Posted at 10:52 AM, Dec 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-22 12:53:32-05

LONE TREE, Colo. — Volunteer Fred LeBrun has never been so happy to push around 300 pounds of oxygen at Sky Ridge Medical Center.

"When it’s fully loaded, (the tanks are) close to 300 pounds and a typical day is right between 2.5 and 3 miles (of walking)," LeBrun said.

The coronavirus forced Sky Ridge Medical Center to suspend its volunteer services program for six months. Fred, who refills oxygen tanks at the hospital three days a week, suddenly found himself with a lot of time on his hands.

"I was getting a little stir crazy to be honest," he said.

LeBrun will say he started volunteering at Sky Ridge eight years ago as a way to transition into retirement. He said he stayed for the exercise and relationships he formed, but those who know him say he's one of a kind, just like his "sooped-up" oxygen cart.

"He actually worked with our respiratory therapy department to modify the cart, put bigger wheels on, so it rolls much more easily," said John Penn, Sky Ridge Medical Center's director of volunteer family services. "Talk about a person who’s all in. He's really one of the most popular people at Sky Ridge."

That sentiment was only reaffirmed in October when LeBrun received a welcome back fit only for an everyday hero.

"When Fred came back, he was actually applauded by staff," Penn said.

"Every nurse on every floor was just happy to see me and if it wasn’t for COVID, I think I would’ve gotten a lot of hugs," LeBrun said.

Molly Hendrickson anchors Denver7 in the mornings from 4:30-7 a.m. She also features a different 7Everyday Hero each week on Denver7. Follow Molly on Facebook here and Twitter here. To nominate a hero in your life, click here.