Laura Brennan
April 2018
Neuro ICU
Swedish Medical Center
United States




I held a Christmas day service in the chapel. Laura was bringing her violin to assist me with worship. Christmas morning brought 2 very sick patients for her to care for. There would be no way that she would get away from the unit to go to the chapel. She was so disappointed. In our discussion she said, "maybe I'll just play on the unit", and that she did. She went to all the rooms asking for their favorite Christmas carols. Her playing was enthusiastically received by everyone. In one room was 40 year old who would be transferring to organ donation. His parents were in his room grieving and being with him during his last bit of time on this earth. The mother has struggled with depression most of her life. The music spoke to her soul and they invited her to come into the room and play. Laura gave them a mini concert. At one point the mother asked her to play Amazing Grace. She played, and the mother sang. In this moment her violin touched the hearts of these parents in ways that mere words could not. Her selfless gift of music gave an entire unit a moment of Christmas. Because of this, Christmas wasn't going to exist for most of these patients and families. The story doesn't end here. The donor family asked her to play at their son's funeral. She switched shifts in order to be available at the funeral. Thank you, Laura, for your gifts and willingness to share with patients and staff. You are an exceptionally compassionate nurse.