On Wednesday, July 18, 2018, Hema Persaud, a patient care support tech
in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU), reached out to other
Associates with a request. She was caring for a patient who had been diagnosed
as brain-dead and was just hours away from a scheduled organ donation
surgery through our organ donation partner, OneLegacy.
Hema had heard that the patient was a veteran, and knew there was a way
that we could provide special recognition and pay respects to him and
So, she looked online at our November Associate newsletter – the
Veterans edition – to see which Associates had served or are currently
serving in the military. She then began making calls to ask if they would
provide the patient and family with a proper military “final salute.”
As she called each person, they responded and even offered to call other
Associates they knew who had served.
Within just a couple of hours, more than 10 Associates from across the
Hospital, from Security to Compliance to Information Systems, were ready
to present the salute.
Hema recalls the moment she saw her fellow Associates line the halls to
honor the patient. She says: “it felt so good to see all the people
that cared so much and wanted to honor this veteran. I still get emotional
thinking about it.”
As the OneLegacy team transported the patient to surgery, these Associates
draped “Old Glory,” our nation’s flag, over the patient.
They followed side-by-side in a silent procession with the patient down
the hall, performed a salute, conducted a folding of the flag and presented
the flag to one of the family members in honor of their loved one.
Hema’s seemingly small gesture was not only an act of patriotism
and kindness, but one that encompassed so many of our C.H.A.N.G.E. Values,
including Excellence and Honor & Respect.
She understood that her patient, a veteran, deserved this ceremony for
his dedicated service and sacrifices made in the Armed Forces and to our
nation. We are so grateful to Hema for the compassion and respect she
showed to the patient and his family.