Miracle Moments
Living the CHRISTUS Core Values  

HEN OUR SON, CHRIS, was transported to CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini Hospital with a traumatic brain injury sustained in an automobile accident in 1990, his very survival was in doubt. He left our house to go out with friends.

He returned home 13 months later, after spending a month in a coma, four months in acute rehabilitation, and eight months in a transitional rehabilitation center.

With tremendous effort, superior medical care and unfailing faith, Chris learned how to walk, talk and take care of himself again. Exhibiting that same determination, he has since finished high school and two years of college. He now works full time as a stock clerk at CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini Hospital. He views each new day as a gift and is an inspiration to his family, friends and co-workers.

When we first saw Chris in ICU on the evening of his accident, we were stunned and in shock. Our robust, tennis-playing teenager was a fragile body attached to monitors and breathing on a ventilator. For the next month, Cabrini Hospital was our home. In large and small ways, the people at Cabrini touched us and saw us through one of the most difficult months in our lives.

PullquoteWe are forever indebted to the highly trained neurosurgeon and nurses who provided excellent medical care. The compassion with which that care was delivered reflected their character, rather than their training. On occasions too numerous to recount, their clinical competence was equaled by thoughtful deeds and encouraging words.

The hospital made a hospitality room available to us during our vigil. The western view was an added bonus. From that window, I pondered brilliant September sunsets that put life in perspective for me. We will never forget our Catholic friends who embraced these Baptists and welcomed us to the chapel. We found healing for our souls there.

Chris almost died on the third day after his accident. After the crisis, the surgeon commented, “I almost didn’t get in that room there were so many angels in there.” Something remarkable did happen that afternoon. Something I can’t explain. I am content to call it a ‘miracle moment.’

CHRISTUS Health recently articulated its Core Values: dignity, integrity, excellence, compassion and stewardship. I’m glad. It is important to say what we are about. It’s more important to me that the Cabrini family has been living the CHRISTUS Core Values for a long, long time. I have experienced it firsthand.

Susan Tudor
vice president
CHRISTUS Central Louisiana Health Alliance
Alexandria, Louisiana