For chaplain Brian Quinn these may be the most challenging days in his 34 years of hospital ministry.
How do you comfort those hurting – at a distance?
“We have never faced something like this before,” said Medical City Healthcare Chaplain Brian Quinn. “There’s something missing in all of this and it’s the ministry of touch, so we do what we can with what we got.”
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Medical City Healthcare recently provided a rare look inside an intensive care unit for COVID-19 patients on a day Quinn made his rounds.
Quinn said he often tells the medical team the work they are doing is close to the heart of God.
“They leave what they got at home,” Quinn said. "They come in and put that gown on, that gear on and they choose to go into that room and make a difference. They’re very resilient, but they also need encouragement as well.”
He said he believes his purpose is to uplift those workers on the frontlines and remind patients in isolation they are not alone.
He’s spent time speaking and praying with patients battling COVID-19 over the phone or through an iPad and has sat bedside for other ill patients whose family cannot be present in the hospital due to current visitor restrictions.
“Just to see the response behind a mask or to see tears coming down their cheeks, to see a smile,” Quinn said. “It makes them feel that we are not alone. That someone does care for them. [We want] to reassure them that God does love them and they don’t have to do this alone.”
How he ministers may have temporarily changed, but Quinn’s message to everyone remains the same – choose hope.
“We have to choose to do this every day even with our fears, even with our feelings,” Quinn said. “Even though we may be behind a mask. We may not be able to touch. There are many ways we can touch others in their heart. We just have to look for those ways.”