Witness to a Code H

I was making a power point presentation at a FAB meeting today, when the CEO interrupted me and said, “I’m sorry Whit, but we are going to have a Code H in five minutes, so we all need to go down the hall and get set up.” Setting aside my momentarily bruised ego, I shut down the presentation and we walked down to the front door to await the arrival of the woman who was about to go home. She came to us broken, and she went home healed. She came to us in a weakened condition, she left us stronger, able to care for herself, restored.

Code H, Hero’s Journey – these events look a little bit different in every facility, but they are an event not to be missed. The Hero’s Journey is a redemption story. A person leaves home and goes on a journey, faces challenges and struggles, finds helpers and guides along the way, and returns home a changed person.

A small crowd gathered in the hallway with stakeholders from just about every department; dietary, maintenance, nurses, CNAs and therapists, QOL and the Chaplain. The CEO set up a small speaker and started blasting celebratory music. The song “Celebrate,” by the OJays, got all of us dancing and clapping, smiling and joyous, just as the woman arrived, accompanied by her smiling, boogying husband, her wheelchair festooned with colorful balloons.

I watched the patient as she came down the hallway, and saw her facial expression change into a radiant expression of joy, gratitude, and appreciation. Her therapists took her hands in theirs, hugged her, and gave her high fives. She smiled broadly, her eyes filled with tears. We all gathered around for a happy group photo, which has since been posted on Facebook so others can know that lives are transformed at Signature HealthCARE.

Next time you hear a Code H, run, don’t walk, to the front hall. Let’s joyously celebrate our successes – lives transformed, strengthened, healed, renewed.

-Whit Stodghill, Regional Spirituality Director