Tufts MC True Blue Recipient: Mary Fitzgerald
Nomination from: Laura Paradis, Social Work, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU):
“Mary Fitzgerald, affectionately known as "the Chaplain" or "Sister Mary" in the NICU, performs extraordinary acts of kindness on a regular basis. She delivers the highest quality pastoral care to patients and their families throughout the organization. Unfortunately, many of our patients are faced with life-altering events as they or their children lay sick in our hospital and it affects them in profound ways (emotionally, physically and spiritually). Mary offers the kindness and compassion that so many people need in dark and difficult situations. She is a light in a dark moment. She is a kind and comforting word in a scary medical environment, and she is a smile and hug which makes people feel embraced and cared for when they most need it. She treats all patients the same and meets people where they are. She is a chaplain to both patients and staff alike, involved in people’s lives both inside and outside the hospital.
“There are many cases in the NICU when Mary has stepped in and supported the family in her role. Recently she assisted a family in making a decision to have their child go into a hospice home. She sat with them during difficult family meetings, prayed with them, held them and offered her support throughout their stay here. She baptized their baby on the unit and for the family it was a joyous and most celebrated time – baptism gown, pictures and all. [Another time,] we had a 23-week-old baby born with a mother who was also critically ill after delivery. When I met the mom and grandmother I mentioned that we had chaplaincy here for support. The mom looked up and said, “That is exactly what I want and need for my baby right now to have someone praying with her and praying for her. I definitely want to meet her.” Most people know Mary from her hugs, smiles, kind words and rapid response for a family or staff in need. She is definitely one-of-a-kind.”