The doctors and nurses at Good Samaritan Medical Center are committed to providing patients with the highest level of care, but sometimes the healing support that means the most arrives through an unexpected source.
Gloria Gonzalez, an environmental services tech at Good Samaritan, often enjoys singing to herself as she goes about her daily tasks. She couldn’t have imagined just how much this simple habit would mean to one recent patient.
While recovering from a nasty case of viral pneumonia in July, patient Ann Newman was trying to get some rest when she heard a light tap at the door. After getting Newman’s permission to enter, Gonzalez introduced herself and let Newman know she was there to clean the room, humming softly as she worked. Newman found Gonzalez’s gentle demeanor and her music surprisingly soothing.
Curious about the origin of the song, Newman asked for its meaning. Gonzalez told her that it was a hymn called “Bendito sea Dios,” which translates to “Blessed is the Lord.”
"It's a God song in Spanish,” Gonzalez explains. “I started singing, and she was happy to listen. I tried to explain it was talking about angels of God, of God's love for us, and she loved it.”
When Newman asked Gonzalez if she’d be willing to pray with her, there was no hesitation.
“She held my hand and so we prayed,” Newman says. “I prayed for my health, and I prayed for her to get her rooms cleaned on time because I knew she had spent extra time with me.”
Do good, feel good
Gonzalez didn’t think twice about taking a few moments out of her busy schedule to accommodate Newman’s request.
“It’s part of me — being nice to people and telling them a little bit about my God,” Gonzalez says. “He is the one who lifts me up, because it's hard to do that job, to see a sick person and to see people in a lot of pain. Being there and giving them support makes me feel very good; it makes me feel that I am on the right track.”
After concluding their prayer, the women shared an embrace and Gonzalez got back to her work. She returned for each of the five days Newman remained in the hospital to clean the room, to visit, to sing and to pray.
Shortly after sharing her story with the hospital, Newman heard a knock on her front door. It was Gonzalez. The women embraced and expressed their heartfelt appreciation for one another. Gonzalez told Newman she loved her. Newman told Gonzalez how her visits uplifted her and gave her hope she’d get better. “She was my devotion every day,” she added.
There’s no doubt that Gonzalez’s kindness made a lasting impression, one she’ll never forget.
“I believe God puts you in the right place all the time for a reason; God put me here because I have to help other people,” Gonzalez says. “That's what we’re all here for — to help, to contribute, to give our best and keep on working. The name of the hospital is Good Samaritan. We have to represent it and be good Samaritans helping others.”