Lindon Beckford, a patient transporter at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, has a special talent that brings comfort and solace to patients during their hospital journeys.
Beckford has been singing since childhood, and he uses his gift to make the hospital experience more pleasant for patients.
While Beckford’s been serenading for as long as he can remember, even he couldn’t have expected the reaction he’d get when he sang for the patients he was transporting.
“I was always singing at work. I was always singing as a child growing up, so it was just a natural thing. It was more for a comforting thing…” said Beckford.
“… So I did that just to comfort myself, but all of a sudden I get to realize people was listening to me.”
After Beckford had realized that his singing was helping, he began to incorporate it into his routine. He’s been working at the same hospital for over 30 years, so he’s had the chance to perfect all manner of techniques to ease the woes of anxious patients.
He explained: “Depending on the conversation that I hear… is the patient in pain? What song can I sing to relieve them.
“At the end when I get them to their procedure or back to their room they will tell me, ‘you know, you make this trip from here to there so much easier because of your singing’.”
For Beckford, it’s simply an expression of something he knows and loves. For his patients, however, it can make a world of difference.
“I remember the first time a patient journeyed with me, I was taking her to the cath lab, and she started doing harmonies for what I was singing, I’m like ‘oh’, it was so amazing, I’m like ‘wow’, and ever since then that happened a few times,” Beckford said.
Beckford cares a great deal for the people he is transporting. At a time when they may be confused or worried, unsure and sometimes scared, his voice is a soothing companion that lets them know things are going to be OK. There are few things as priceless as that.