Footprints of faith

Vignettes of caring offer glimpses into Memorial’s mission

By Karen Frank, one of five associate of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth at CHI Memorial Hospital

CHI Memorial Hospital’s mission often goes beyond the medical care that is delivered every day by skilled and compassionate physicians, nurses, and technicians.

There are times when extra caring is just what the doctor ordered. Here are a few of the many instances of Memorial Hospital staffers reaching out to patients:


Less than three months after St. Anne’s Chapel opened in CHI Memorial Hospital’s new North Tower, a mother was unable to leave the hospital for her daughter’s wedding. Family and CHI Memorial staff were not deterred.

With her doctor’s blessing, the mother of the bride attended her daughter’s wedding in St. Anne’s, decorated in the bride’s colors, with a reception in a break room.

Physician Dr. F. Lee Hamilton told Chattanooga Times Free Press reporter Hannah Smith, “Not everybody gets better. Not everybody goes home with a happy story. But every now and then, you get to see a wonderful ray of sunshine come through.”


Within a few days of entering the hospital, a mother, her family and the oncology nursing staff realized the mother would not be able to leave the hospital for her daughter’s graduation.

Soon, with pomp and circumstance in the background, that mother, along with school officials and fellow students, watched her daughter march across the hospital room, collect her diploma and shift her tassel to the other side. Many tears of joy were shed, and love was abundant.

Nurses gave up their break room for the day for the graduation party. Decorations adorned the room. One nurse bought pizza for the senior class, while others provided snacks and drinks.


When it became obvious that a father was not going to be able to leave the hospital for his daughter’s wedding, family and CHI Memorial nurses leapt into action.

Using technology, father and daughter were able to see each other and share the beautiful moment.

Following the wedding, the father was taken to a waiting room that hospital staff had transformed into a wedding reception hall.

Family members and hospital staff joined the celebration. Cake and punch were served. Music played from a cell phone. Everyone toasted the newly married couple, and love and joy were in the air.

It always is a blessing to be a blessing, which is what happened that day.

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