"For more than six years, Boston Children’s has been home to a unique volunteer who brought unconditional love to our patients - and the entire hospital community. Bert, who recently passed away, was a proud Pawprints volunteer who lit up the faces of young children and older adolescents. A yellow lab, bred to be a seeing-eye dog, Bert was born deaf and therefore unable to be a service dog. Instead, he was an example to patients about perseverance, patience and hope.
"He had a special way of making each child feel better in their own way, whether socially, emotionally, physically, or in all of these ways and more," says Child Life Specialist, Jessica Strzelecki, MEd, CCLS. Bert offered simple and gentle acts of compassion and empathy to his friends. His tenacity overshadowed his battle with cancer.
Aimee Lyons, RN, MSN, CPNP, CCRN, NE-BC, recalls that when Bert walked into a patient’s room, the atmosphere changed immediately. “He gave every patient a bit of time free of doctors and nurses, free of procedures, free of worry,” she says. “Bert accepted our patients, no matter how many tubes or drains they had on them or machines hooked up to them.”
Bert spent most of his time at Boston Children’s on 10 NorthWest and 9 North. Families, employees and fellow volunteers will remember Bert’s positive impact on the hospital, and be forever grateful for the joy and laughter he brought to his closest friends - our patients.”
(via the hospital intranet)