Moments that Matter

Music to his ears

Dr. William Horgan strums a tune on his ukulele and check him out jamming to his electric guitar about hand hygiene at Leadership Forum —
Photo by Jeff Evans

During an East Region leadership forum, the guitar-and ukulele-playing Dr. Horgan “rocked out,” jamming Queen’s “We Will Rock You” on his electric guitar to make a point about the importance of hand hygiene. Hand hygiene, he said as leaders clapped along to the song’s “thump, thump, thump,” should be as second nature as remembering the beat to a familiar rock anthem. They got the message.

A practicing emergency physician, Dr. Horgan’s musical talents are even more powerful at the bedside. On a recent Thanksgiving, one of his patients, a 76-year-old grandmother, was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. It was a crushing blow to the family during what should be a festive time of year. Following through on his clinical duties, he quickly facilitated the transfer of the woman to Hartford Hospital for a stent to help relieve some of the effects of the cancer.

Feeling a powerful connection to the patient and the family, Dr. Horgan began a months’ long personal follow-up that included being what he called the woman’s “personal healthcare navigator.” He answered her questions and made recommendations about her care. And, because he knows this was such a vulnerable time for the dying woman, he even accompanied her to some chemotherapy treatments, playing his ukulele and singing to help ease her fears.

They do!

Keith Milton and Carrie Taylor were married at her mother’s bedside.
Photo courtesy of CCU staff

Carrie Taylor of Norwich was set to walk down the aisle with the love of her life, Keith Milton, on Saturday, October 12.

Sadly, her mother was a patient in the Backus Cardiac Care Unit and couldn’t attend. Knowing how much it means for a bride to share her wedding day with her mother, staff from the unit and Food and Nutrition brought festivities to the bedside two days before.

The room was decorated, a cart with tarts and sparkling cider arrived and a pastor performed the ceremony on the spot — yet another example of making Every Moment Matter!

— Steve Coates

Every day, our team does amazing things to benefit patients and the community. Email us your moments that matter.

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