Miracle Moments Miracle Moments In Work Life

RECENTLY OPENED MY mail to find a note from a proud mother. It was a wedding announcement, along with a promise that pictures would follow via e-mail. I opened my e-mail a week later and there were the photos sent by the mother- pictures of her daughter’s wedding in New York state.

The bride was beautiful – dressed in a full-length bridal gown and veil, surrounded by her bridesmaids, and gently embraced by her new, handsome husband. He serves in the Navy, and Sarah will be traveling around the world with him.

The smile on everyone’s face was like a hug for my heart. But Sarah has always had that effect on me since the first day I met her eight years ago.

I remember being called to the volunteer office at CHRISTUS Schumpert to interview a young lady who wanted to work in my department. I will never forget seeing Sarah’s tiny figure sitting in a wheelchair. She had no arms or legs. A thousand things rushed through my mind. I am a social worker and I work in rehab…I will know how to handle this, I thought.

Not knowing how this arrangement would work, I decided to take on this bright and rosy-cheeked girl as a volunteer. I quickly realized that Sarah saw no obstacles in doing anything. She could type memos with her mouth stick, she even pushed wheelchairs with her own wheelchair. She motivated patients of all ages when nothing else seemed to work, and she would encourage others to ask questions about her condition rather than to stare. Children loved Sarah, and they liked to watch her maneuver her wheelchair.

You would see Sarah in the cafeteria with others and someone would be feeding her, yet the attitude at the table was one of complete normalcy. After all, it was just a group of Associates and volunteers having lunch.

Eventually, Sarah was nominated by CHRISTUS Schumpert to receive the National Rehab Award for outstanding service. Former U.S. Press Secretary James Brady presented her with the award. Sarah was overcome with joy and cried, but someone else had to wipe her tears.

Oh, that I may always remember to look within others to discover their true potential, so that I will not miss out on “miracle moments” like these. Even years after leaving our department, Sarah, in her beautiful wedding photos, can still give a “heart hug” like no other.

Mona Farley
Occupational Health
CHRISTUS Schumpert Health System
Shreveport, Louisiana