David Earl Johnson, LICSW

2 minute read

Grand Rounds is a tradition in many hospitals around the country. Here is an on-line version. A touching story from hospital impact. This is one weeks post from Grand Rounds 2.05, a rotating column of medical professionals.

I once spoke with one of the most famous hospital CEOs in America. Out of all the things he could have shared with me that day, he talked to me about a cleaning lady in his hospital. This is the story he told…

A patient was in a coma and her grieving family sat around her. The patient had been completely unresponsive for weeks. Then, a particular cleaning lady unknowingly and deeply moved this family – simply by doing her job with a smile and by singing/humming a sweet tune under her breathe. The family noticed that the patient actually responded to this far-off cleaning lady’s humming ever so slightly – a twitch of the eye, a tear. The family asked the cleaning lady to come in and sing to their loved one in the coma. Without hesitating, the cleaning lady put down her mop, came into the room, and sang an angelic tune. It was a tender, moving moment for the whole family – another tear flowed down the patient’s face. A few days later, the patient died, but the family was so moved by the event, that they wrote the hospital, wanting to thank that anonymous cleaning lady.

This week’s grand rounds is dedicated to that unnamed hospital cleaning lady, and to all those in healthcare who do their job with a smile on their face and a sweet tune on their hearts.

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