Skip to main content

Nathan Chao: Bringing comfort and support to Halifax Infirmary patients

Young man stands smiling at the camera. he has long brown hair, glasses and a red vest over a blue and white t-shirt. He's in the hallway of a hospital.

Nathan Chao’s journey into volunteering with Nova Scotia Health was deeply personal, sparked by their own experience at the Halifax Infirmary. It was during their time there that Chao realized the profound impact of compassionate care and decided to give back to those who had helped them and others facing similar challenges.

On a typical day, Chao’s activities revolve around interacting with patients and their families, ensuring their comfort by providing blankets, food, water, and engaging in meaningful conversations. They also play a crucial role in helping individuals navigate the hospital, guiding them to the right locations and easing their concerns. While these tasks may seem small, Chao believes they contribute significantly to brightening someone's day.

“Seeing how appreciative and thankful people are when I help them out makes my day,” Chao said. “Doing my best to make someone's bad day into a slightly less bad one drives me to stay involved.”

Among their proudest moments and a great example of this year’s National Volunteer Week theme, Every Moment Matters, is the simple act of helping an older man into a wheelchair and then assisting him into a taxi. Despite the man's attempt to tip them, Chao graciously declined, finding fulfillment in the act itself rather than any form of compensation.

One of Chao’s most inspiring and reflective experiences involves aiding an older amputee in changing wheelchairs, hearing his complaints, yet witnessing his unwavering determination to live life to the fullest. “It may seem like nothing” they said, “but his motivation to keep living as best he could struck a chord.”

Chao’s dedication to bringing comfort and support to patients at the Halifax Infirmary exemplifies the impact of compassionate volunteering within Nova Scotia Health. Their willingness to go above and beyond to improve someone's day reflects the spirit of generosity and kindness that enriches healthcare services in the community.

Photo of Nova Scotia Health volunteer, Nathan Chao.

©2024 Nova Scotia Health Authority. All rights reserved.