EDMONTON – An incredibly touching video inspired by an elderly couple’s last moments has won several local and national awards.
The Difference Between Care and Caring claimed top honours at Edmonton’s ACE Awards Saturday, winning three awards, including Best in Show, which prompted a standing ovation.
“What an incredible night for the Royal Alexandra Hospital,” Andrew Otway, president and CEO of the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation, said. “This was a video that really came together so beautifully and effectively because of the staff and leadership at the Royal Alex. We are so immensely proud of this hospital, the people who work here, and the difference they make each day.”
The video also won ACE Awards for Best Video Production and Best Broadcast/Video, Not-for-Profit.
The Difference Between Care and Caring was the only Canadian finalist for a doGooder Video Award in the Best Non-Profit Video category. On Sunday, it was announced the video had won the category with more than 4,000 votes.
“We’re quite delighted,” Sylvia Molella-Parker, whose parents inspired the video, said about the nomination. “Our family always knew that two regular people – my mom and dad – were very, very special. And, like one of my sons says, now the rest of the world knows how special they really are.
“We were just amazed that other people saw that something special that we’ve always seen in them.”
The video was produced by the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation as a way to highlight how staff offer more than just medical care.
“At the time, we knew we were going to lose both our parents and we knew there was nothing the hospital staff could do,” Molella-Parker said. “But their support, their agreement to have them in the same room… their care – for not only my mom and dad, to make them as comfortable as they could be – but also their support for us, I just can’t describe how much that meant to us.”
After the video was posted on YouTube at the end of December, it spread on social media and, as of Feb. 24, has been viewed approximately half a million times. The response overwhelmed the foundation and the hospital.
“A lot of people have said the video is making them cry,” said Sharlene Rutherford, who helped produce the video with the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation.
“It is a sad video, but through the sadness, there’s joy because it’s a love story.”
For the family, nothing can take away the sadness of losing their loved ones, but they are honoured their story is impacting others.
“I think people want that true love but don’t believe it exists,” Molella-Parker said. “Their strong love for one another was a real example to all of us – the whole family. They were our heroes and now they’re heroes to a whole lot more people out there who are inspired by them, which I think is a great tribute to them.”
The couple passed away just a few months shy of their 73rd wedding anniversary.
*EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was originally posted on Feb. 24 and was updated March 21 after the video won several awards.