Chaplaincy During a Pandemic
by Allen Mitchell, BCM Chaplain
At Children’s Hospital, a young patient was recovering from a bone marrow transplant when he was diagnosed with COVID-19. It was completely unexpected. He had been in isolation because of the transplant and his immune-compromised state. Everyone on staff knew this was going to be an uphill fight.
The patient’s mother was a deeply spiritual person, who always spoke to me about the goodness of the Lord. To boost mom’s spirit, I gathered with doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff to sing gospel hymns outside of their recovery room. We began singing and mom’s face lit up. She walked to the door, held her hand up to the glass, and she requested that we sing Amazing Grace. Tears ran down her face as she sang along.
She thanked us and said “God bless you” to everyone. I wish I could share with you that her son recovered, but unfortunately a few weeks later he succumbed to COVID-19 and was one of the first patients at Children’s Hospital to die from it.
Being present for someone in need is a very humbling experience. Everyone should have someone there to lift them up as they walk through their journey of grief. As a chaplain, it is my honor and privilege to show love and compassion to people when they are most vulnerable. I feel blessed and honored to serve where I do. Thank you for giving me and my fellow chaplains the opportunity to provide comfort and support to the families and staff of the institutions we serve.
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