Very, very few people enjoy being in the hospital. Most people find it frightening and depressing to have to spend any time under hospital care. The antiseptic smells, the bright lights, the impersonal workers who bustle around while you wait for your nurse or doctor.
Not the kind of place where you expect to do much smiling.
But if you happen to be a patient at Boston’s Beth Israel/Deaconess Hospital, you might just be lucky.
For the past 31 years, Lindon Beckford has worked at the well known city hospital. His job is to transport patients from their rooms to various scary procedures, and then back again.
His vocation, though, is to treat those patients with gentle kindness and warmth. And to sing to them with his honey sweet tenor voice.
Beckford knows that facing a surgical procedure is frightening for every patient. He knows how helpless people feel when they are lying on a gurney waiting to be moved from one part of the hospital to another. That’s why he greets every patient with his warm smile and this lighthearted introduction:
My name is Lindon, and I will be your driver today.”
Lindon shakes his patients’ hands, too, knowing how much that human contact can mean at a time of so much anxiety.
Then he asks his patients what they’d like to hear. And he sings. And every patient smiles as he does.
Lindon says that he has always loved to sing, and that he was always singing as he moved about the hospital. He started to notice that people were paying attention to him as he did. He noticed that most people, even the sickest patients, seemed to relax and smile as they heard his voice.
That’s when he decided to make each interaction with a patient something special. He wants them to remember at least this part of their hospital stay with pleasure. He knows that by singing to the patients, he eases both physical and emotional pain.
The best part for Lindon, he says, is when patients sing with him, adding their own unique voices and harmonies to his songs.
He sings like an angel in the halls of a bustling, major city teaching hospital. I think he may have the soul of an angel too, as he teaches all of us that we could do something to make life better for others, too.
Watch this lovely video, and listen to Linden and his patients enjoy their special musical connection.
Featured image via YouTube Screengrab.