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SGMC Honors August Hospital Heroes

Posted on: August 16th, 2017

Joy filled the room on Wednesday, as the Hospital Authority of Valdosta Lowndes County, GA Board of Directors honored a team of hospital heroes for their role in saving a patient’s life. However, it wasn’t the typical physical life being saved, but a spiritual one.  A few weekends ago, Leighton Delk, a patient at South Georgia Medical Center, expressed his desire to be baptized by immersion. Delk was battling effects of stomach and esophageal cancer. Upon hearing this request, and getting approval from Delk’s physician, Dr. Joe Johnson, employees went to work to see how they could fulfill this request.  Jennifer Wade, physical therapy team leader, came in on her day off to facilitate the transfer of the patient to a silver whirlpool tub used for rehabilitation purposes. Others involved included Kelly Blackman, Gary Rowan, Brandon Dean, Carmen Loyer, Runako Berrian, and of course, SGMC volunteer Chaplain David Nelson.  A photo was taken capturing the momentous event, as the patient rose from the water. SGMC then shared the moment on social media, and it didn’t take long for this story to go viral, reaching over 300,000 people in a matter of days.  SGMC Assistant Administrator of Public Relations and Communications presented the individuals with the recognition as August’s Hospital Heroes in front of board members and community leaders. “We express extreme gratitude for these individuals’ ability to identify a patient’s need and work so diligently to fill it,” said Ball. Brandon Dean, Jennifer Wade, Carmen Loyer, David Nelson, and Runako Berrian are recognized as Hospital Heroes by Johnny Ball at the Hospital Authority of Valdosta-Lowndes County Board of Directors meeting. The original picture shared online featured SGMC employees Runako Berrian, Carmen Loyer, Jennifer Wade, Brandon Dean, Leighton Delk and Chaplain David Nelson.