themighty logo

16 Simple (but Unforgettable) Acts of Kindness Witnessed in a Hospital

Acts of kindness happen everywhere, but it’s especially nice to know moments of pure human goodness can occur in the midst of uncertainty or potentially scary times.

Our friends at Suspended Coffees, an organization dedicated to spreading worldwide kindness, asked its Facebook community to tell us about an act of kindness they witnessed while in the hospital.

These short stories are beautiful reminders that even at our lowest moments, there’s always room for kindness:

1. “Last year I was in hospital to have my gallbladder removed. It was only supposed to be an overnight stay, but complications meant I spent six nights in the acute care ward. This meant I was away from my three boys with special needs. They handmade me a get well card. I sat the card up on the nightstand, so I could see it every time I turned my head. The morning I was getting ready to be discharged, the physio came in and went through some exercises with me and left a rolled up towel in front of the card. It wasn’t til I got home that I realized the card must have been left at the hospital (some 75 kilometers [45 miles] away). A week later I received a letter from the hospital, signed by the day-shift nurse who had cared for me through most of my time in the ward, along with the boys card. Her letter said, ‘I found this when I went to strip your bed and knew you would want it.’ I have to admit, I cried many happy tears over this simple, very kind gesture.” — Sharyn Lilley

2. “When I had surgery for breast cancer, my surgeon met me in the pre-op room, put her arm around me, walked me into the operating room, and said a prayer with me. It brought me such a feeling of peace.” — Pamela Ingram

3. “After I had my second open-heart surgery, one of the nurses would come on her coffee break and rub my back because she knew my family could not be there. She was awesome.” — Venae Gyuka

4. “My dad was in the hospital after a motorcycle accident, which left him in a coma for three months. Although he had his gauntlets on, they had damaged his fingernails and hands. One of the nurses stayed in after her shift, soaked my dad’s hands in warm water, cleaned them up and massaged his hands with cream.” — Paula Ennis

5. “My 11-year-old daughter went in for surgery. Terrified. We sat cuddled in the waiting room while her father filled out the paperwork. One of the volunteers brought us a blanket. The ladies quilt blankets for the little ones. At 18 she went in for the same surgery and took the blanket. She’s 20 and still keeps it around. It’s a silly scrap quilt! Made with love, given to a very scared little girl.” — Biana Weatherford

6. “Just recently I had outpatient surgery and my ride home didn’t show up to get me. One of the nurses that wheeled me out to wait for my ride, saw that I was still waiting and very upset. She called a cab for me, stayed with me till it came and paid for my ride. She missed her lunch break for me. She is the sweetest, nicest and kindest person I have ever met.” — Gayle Weaver-Njie

7. “I was 15 years old and in the ER because I was suicidal. The nurse who was watching me told me that a few years ago, her own daughter was in the hospital for the same reason, but now she was happy and off to college, so there was hope. She then proceeded to brush the hair out of my face and tuck me into bed. Throughout the night, she came back in to check on me, and I had never felt so safe. Nurse Jackie, if you ever happen to see this, thank you for that act of kindness. It’s stuck with me and kept me going through so much.” — Sydney Neumann

8. “When my daughter was in the NICU, her teddy was accidentally bundled in with the dirty sheets. One of the nurses went down to the laundry and sorted through the bins of soiled bedding until she found him. She was on her break.” — Andrea McCrindle

9. “When I was a kid, I had to have surgery and was scared out of my wits, and my momma could barely keep me distracted. Well, in comes this lady — no scrubs or official looking clothes at all — with an armful of stuff: a bear, flowers, a card that had some money in it and a little basket of goodies. Turned out this lady visited the little kids having surgery every week to bring them stuff to help them get ready or help them recover from surgeries. She was a surgeon from another hospital who would come on her day off, using most of her check to donate stuff to the kids at the hospital. She would stay and talk if she thought you might have needed advice from a doctor, too.” — Becca Britton

10. “My daughter had a short stay in a children’s ward just before Christmas a few years ago. A huge biker gang fully clothed in leather jackets came in and handed out lovely wrapped Christmas presents to every single boy and girl on the ward. It was so great to see how uplifted the children and parents were and the ward was completely filled with smiles and laughter. It was truly wonderful.” — Hayley Louise

11. “My teenaged son had to have lung surgery on his 17th birthday. He was in the pediatrics ward, feeling glum and in a lot of pain. His physician assistant found out it was his birthday and she rounded up a cupcake and present and a few nurses to come in and sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to him. It was an act of kindness to cheer up one patient, and it was much appreciated!” — Terez Pemberton Matkins

12. “My sister was in the hospital the last two years of her life. My mom only left her side to go home to sleep. There was a cleaning lady who came through at night, who would sing hymns to her. She had a beautiful voice.” — Christina Fetter-Frost

13. “I was hospitalized for over a week and a very nice nurse brought in some conditioner and spent an hour brushing out the massive knots out of my hair. I thought I was going to have to shave me head. She was amazing.” — Dora-Rose Blixrud

14. “My 6-year-old son was in the hospital this past Christmas Eve. Total bummer for a little kid. Well, he talked the doctors ear off about football. A little while later the doctor came back with a brand new football in the package still. I was blown away.” — Jordan Vazquez

15. “As a nurse, I once witnessed a doctor who knelt at the side of the bed and prayed with a patient who had terminal lung disease.” — Kathie Maxwell

16. “I was 6 years old and in the hospital. I was scheduled for surgery the next day, and while I tried not to show it, I was frightened. I didn’t know any of the other kids, but introduced myself and played a little. The next morning the orderlies came to take me down to the operating room. All the kids on the floor walked me to the elevator! I was so moved, even at the tender age of 6, I knew this was something special! But it gets better. As I was being taken back to my bed after the surgery, when the elevator doors opened on my floor, all the kids were waiting for me and walked me back to my bed! It’s been almost 50 years, but the kindness those kids showed me has stayed with me and moved me to help others whenever I get a chance.” — Terri DuVal Riffle

Have you witnessed an act of kindness in a hospital? Tell us about it in the comment section below.