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 daughters
wedding in New York state.
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 everyones 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 Sarahs 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
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
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.
CHRISTUS Schumpert Health System