The chaplains of Michael Garron Hospital in Toronto have to respond to many situations. Here is one story from a United Church chaplaincy student about her time in the pediatrics ward:
I remember the first time I saw her. I had to put on a gown, mask, and gloves to go into her room. This tiny baby, hooked up to so many tubes, smiled up at me. She had so much trust in her eyes for a baby who had been abandoned by her parents. She’d had two heart surgeries and was now recovering. Each day she grew stronger, and soon most of the tubes had been removed and we no longer needed to mask and gown. What she needed most was human contact, so I would spend time each day holding her, talking to her, and watching her smile and coo. When she was three months old, her parents came back to reunite with her. They had many meetings with social workers, and I was included in those conversations. Her parents had been refugees who came to this country with their seven children; when the baby was born with Down’s syndrome and many health problems, they panicked and left her at the hospital to be cared for. When the day came for this tiny, beautiful baby to leave with her parents, staff said goodbye to her, and many of them were in tears. After she left the hospital, we sat around and shared stories and grieved together. It was a very profound moment in my ministry.
Mission & Service supports chaplaincy in hospitals, universities, and prisons.
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