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Make Their Day

When security officer Bruce Simon first met Amy Wynn and her son at Deaconess bruce-finals08lg-(1).jpgGateway Hospital, he didn’t even know she was an employee at Deaconess Hospital. What he did know was that her 22-month-old son needed nine stitches removed from his forehead, and he was not happy about being taken to the hospital. Bruce heard the little boy’s screams before he even saw him.

His efforts to cheer up the child went far beyond his job description as a security officer. He took the boy for a wheelchair ride, showed him the ambulance drivers’ lounge in the emergency room, and gave him Popsicles. The way he entertained the young boy calmed down not just the crowd waiting at the emergency room, but the boy’s mother, who praised Bruce for what he considers to be an everyday act. “We’re not in patient care,” Bruce says. “We’re security, but compassion just takes over.”

It’s the children that strike a particular chord in Bruce’s heart. “There’s not a person that comes through the ER that wants to be here,” he acknowledges. “When kids come in, it just tears me up.” While wheelchair rides and Popsicles may have worked in the Wynns’ case, the security team often pays special attention to children, trying to find ways to calm them and earn their trust before they even see a nurse or a doctor. “Every child that walks through that door,” says Bruce, “is a different story.”