Wednesday, February 10, 2010

An Incredible Evening

Amidst all the tragedy and hard effort on the part of Comfort's crew to overcome it, there are moments that stand out and embody the very center of the human spirit. Here is one such story from a nurse practitioner aboard:

One evening last week there was an incredible event that took place on 3 Forward, a pediatric overflow ward. We were near capacity with children, parents or other family as escorts - families that had suffered such horrific times with unimaginable losses - family members, homes, and life threatening injuries. Softly and gently a few women began to sing. They were singing in Creole some of their familiar hymns and spirituals. The sounds were so soothing and melodic. As they continued several other parents and escorts joined in – soon all the children were singing and dancing to the enchanting sounds. Within minutes the entire ward was transformed into a place of joy. The staff and visitors were swaying to the music and every single person had a smile on their face. Over that amazing time we all bonded in a way that could not have ever been imagined. We were ONE in spite of all the sorrow, sadness and weariness; we were united in our humanity and purpose. Each person was uplifted as this glorious praise to God soared to the heavens from a hospital ship, the USNS Comfort anchored near such a devastated nation. In such times of chaos and loss it is so inspiring to witness such steadfast faith and devotion. We were all truly blessed to be a part of that precious moment and this mission. This is truly something that I will remember and cherish my whole life. Amen, Amen, Amen

Norah Bertschy, CAPT, NC
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner


  1. Norah,

    What an amazingly beautiful account of God's love. We have been so touched by your outpouring of care and compassion and we want to reach out to you to offer our comfort. Is there anyway you could put me in touch with Dave Oravec, the chaplain? We're working on a project, but I need an insider's help! Thanks and may God bless you!

    Dianne Stone
    Bay City, Texas

  2. As the Mother of one of those patients...Thank you! I know he is alive because of those early hours of critical care you all provided! I would love to send the team photos. Contact me at