February 11, 2019
World Day of the Sick
February 11, World Day of the Sick, was first instituted in May 1992 by Pope John Paul II. At our St. Luke Hospital, we celebrate this holiday every year. This day is an opportunity to pay special attention to the condition of the sick, and, more generally, to give us the opportunity to show how much those who suffer are valued in our eyes.
Because illness and suffering can sometimes upset our lives or the lives of our loved ones, World Day of the Sick encourages us to give our time to support patients and to be attentive to their needs. Patients very quickly feel away from the good life. This special day of solidarity allows people with illnesses to feel heard and recognized. This is extremely important.
This is why we always want to implement concrete actions that promote social support for patients in our medical establishment. This can really help them relax from their daily lives and help them to focus more on healing throughout their hospitalization. The social support of the patient always reinforces the development of the treatment plan for the patient.
For us in Haiti at St. Luke Hospital, February 11th was a day of great protest, violence, and chaos across the country. All the stores and markets had been closed since February 7, but even in despite of everything, we found a way to celebrate our patients. We began the day with activities such as: the celebration of Holy Mass, a reception for the sick, parents of patients, employees, and pastoral members; and the distribution of hygiene kits to the sick. We never want to miss this opportunity because it's a very special day for them.
Although this day has a special meaning for Christians, it is not necessary to have religious beliefs to bring help and compassion to those who suffer. Even a small gesture is enough.
Wilflo Fontus, Social worker HSL