At the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Lindon Beckford is a patient transporter. He has been singing since he was a kid. He only hoped that his voice could bring a little comfort to others as it does for himself.
Beckford has been singing for as long as he can remember, but when he started singing for the patients he was carrying, he couldn’t have anticipated the response he would get.
“I was always singing at work. I was always singing as a child growing up, so it was just a natural thing. It was more for a comforting thing…” said Beckford.
“… So I did that just to comfort myself, but all of a sudden I get to realize people were listening to me.”
Having realized that his singing was helping, Beckford began to incorporate it into his work. He has been working in the same hospital for over 30 years, so he has had the opportunity to perfect all kinds of methods to alleviate the anxious patients’ woes.
He explained: “Depending on the conversation that I hear… is the patient in pain? What song can I sing to relieve them.”
“At the end when I get them to their procedure or back to their room they will tell me, ‘you know, you make this trip from here to there so much easier because of your singing’.”
It’s just an expression of something he loves for Beckford. But it can create a world of difference for his patients.
“I remember the first time a patient journeyed with me, I was taking her to the cath lab, and she started doing harmonies for what I was singing, I’m like ‘oh’, it was so amazing, I’m like ‘wow’, and ever since then that happened a few times,” Beckford said.
It’s evident to everyone that Beckford cares a lot about the individuals he’s transporting. At a moment when they may be confused or worried, uncertain and sometimes frightened, his voice is a relaxing companion that lets them know things will be alright. That is something priceless.