Von Oatis’ story

A shoulder, a prayer, a tear.

— Von Oatis, Chaplain, Pastoral Care volunteer


Read the story of Von Oatis, a chaplain who volunteers with AU Health Pastoral Care, as we celebrate National Volunteer Week:

I’ve been blessed to offer pastoral services to Augusta University patients and families for more than 12 years. A friend of mine, also a minister, worked here and told me about the opportunity.

It was something I had always wanted to do — to try and bring comfort to patients and families who were going through a difficult time. Little did I know that five years later, I would be facing such a time myself. I lost my own son after a long illness and hospitalization, despite the wonderful care he received.

I find the pain I carry from my own experience helps me relate to patients and families I meet at Augusta University. I remember one family – they were foster parents who just loved their 11-month-old baby. When they found the child unresponsive, they brought her to the emergency room. She turned out to have serious health issues, and she was unable to be saved. I felt I could relate to what they were going through and be a shoulder for them to cry on. I comfort families, pray with them — sometimes cry with them and sometimes rejoice with them — to hopefully help them through their ordeal.

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