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Grace's visit makes all the difference

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Mary Cochrane knows all too well the loneliness and isolation associated with being in hospital.

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She recalls the moment when the doctor at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) told her she had diabetes.

“It was the worst moment,” she said.

“It’s easy to feel alone in hospital, it’s very easy to feel forgotten.”

“The best moment of that day was a few hours later when I saw a kind smile and heard, ‘Hello, I’m Grace Healey the Catholic chaplain’.”

“We chatted. She listened. She gave me the opportunity to receive Jesus, my best friend, in holy communion.”

Mary said she had very few visitors while in hospital so Grace’s visit was the “one thing that made that day bearable”.

Two weeks before Easter, her father had a heart attack and spent a week in the RAH.

Once again, it was Grace who helped make sure her dad received the “same wonderful pastoral care” that she had received.

Mary said as the Catholic chaplain, Grace was the “face and hands of the Catholic community”.

“For that visit, she was the entire Catholic community for me,” she explained.

“Her visit said to me you are not alone…your church community has not forgotten you and God has certainly not forgotten you.

“When receiving Jesus in holy communion, I had a profound experience of Jesus coming to me, just as I was and just where I was (with one arm was out straight so that the drip would keep working).

“The prayer card Grace left me with was something tangible, it reminded me that Grace had been there that day, and would also come again tomorrow.”

Mary said while Grace and her team of volunteers would move to the new RAH, it was important for patients to be aware of changes to the way they can connect with the team’s pastoral care.

 

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