Picture this.

I’m in an infusion lab at Penn Medicine in Cherry Hill, NJ getting a boost of vitamins – they also do chemo treatments for cancer patients there.

I’m sitting across from a man getting his chemo.

While chatting with the nursing supervisor who sensed a problem, she excused herself and tended to the man who within minutes passed away – the nurses and a doctor gathered, they tried to close off the area where the man was and eventually remove him without upsetting other patients, but I was too close.

The staff was in shock, some in tears but what I witnessed next was an extreme act of compassion.

The supervisor, Melanie, systematically went over to each person including the attending doctor and gave them a big hug – one, right after the other without even a moment’s delay – a round of much needed hugs.

She knew that sometimes we need hugs and time to recover from trauma and I thought what a great DayStarter she exemplified under duress.  The caregivers were also the patients that day.

When there are no words, there is always a hug.