Sue Gomez: A beacon of compassion at Denver Health

April 22, 2024

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For 15 years, Sue Gomez, a 78-year-old spiritual care volunteer, has been a steadfast presence at Denver Health, braving rain and snow to offer solace and support to patients in need. A former nurse and current Catholic Eucharistic minister, Gomez felt a profound calling to uplift those suffering by delivering communion to Catholic patients and offering prayers to anyone seeking comfort.

Despite transportation challenges, Gomez faithfully makes her way to Denver Health every Tuesday and Saturday, embarking on a journey that involves a train ride and two bus transfers. Before her volunteer shifts, she stops by her local parish to have the sacrament blessed, ensuring that she carries the spiritual essence of her faith to share with those she encounters at the hospital.

Gomez's compassionate presence transcends religious boundaries, as patients of all faiths and traditions seek her comforting companionship. Rebecca Scull, director of spiritual care at Denver Health, attests to Gomez's remarkable kindness, noting how patients are uplifted by her warmth and generosity.

Denver Health Director of Spiritual Care Rebecca Scull and volunteer Sue Gomez
Denver Health Director of Spiritual Care Rebecca Scull and volunteer Sue Gomez.

An example is a patient who was recovering from face and jaw cancer surgery who, unable to receive communion because of the extent of his injuries, eagerly welcomed Gomez's prayers, writing notes week after week to request her visits.

Scull recalls moments of Gomez's unwavering dedication, including her commitment to conducting Sunday chapel services before the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted in-person gatherings. Gomez welcomed patients, visitors and staff in the interfaith chapel and, according to a former Denver Health chaplain, would repeat services for late gatherers.

As Scull reflects, Gomez's presence is transformative, infusing joy and light into every interaction and embodying the essence of compassionate care.

“Sue has such an amazing and kind heart, and she brings joy to everyone she meets,” Scull said. “Our team would not be the same without her.”