Greencastle man sings praises of CCU staff

Summit Health
Stephen Buchanan

Stephen Buchanan of Greencastle has always loved singing. While his voice may not be ready to belt any tunes quite yet, he’s singing in a different way.

After being intubated for 12 days and cared for by the staff in Chambersburg Hospital’s Critical Care Unit in January, Buchanan has started singing the praises of the nurses he says now feel like family.

“I like to serve – I do not like to be served,” he explained. “I was in such a dark place – spiritually, mentally and physically. And to be given the care I was given … I was overwhelmed.”

Buchanan had been struggling with health problems for a while. When he was admitted to Chambersburg Hospital, he was in respiratory failure and congestive heart failure that stemmed from untreated sleep apnea.

“I really had given up – I was ready to be done," Buchanan said.

Buchanan was intubated sitting upright at his request in an effort to help preserve his ability to sing. He communicated with pen and paper for two weeks.

Buchanan tearfully said his nurses helped heal both his body and his soul, noting how thankful he was that they took care of him like he was a child.

Since being discharged from the hospital at the end of January, Buchanan has returned every week for speech therapy. He often visits the CCU to check in on the nurses that gave him care.

“So often, they don’t hear the gratitude,” he said. “They hear pain, they experience death, and then carry that home. Even though they’re getting a paycheck, it is so far beyond that.I have been blown away. I don’t even know how to say ‘thank you.’”