Did you know it’s National Volunteer Week? In honor of this celebration, we’d like to showcase on of our dedicated volunteers. A man who selflessly gives of his time to work in the Cardiac Care Unit at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas visiting with patients and their families.
Oh, and he just celebrated his 100th birthday which makes him only 10 years younger than Baylor Health Care System. We recently held a birthday party to celebrate this milestone occasion.
Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas Caring Heart’s volunteer, Clarence Griffith recently celebrated his 100th birthday with a party in the 3 Roberts Caring Hearts office, one of the several parties held to honor the new centenarian. Dozens of Volunteer Services, Cath Lab and Cardiac Care Unit (CCU) staff members attended the celebration for Griffith, who has been a Baylor Dallas volunteer since the young age of 95.
“It was a big surprise,” says Griffith. “I knew there was going to be a party, but I had no idea it would be so big and so many people were going to be there.”
As a Baylor Health Care System (BHCS) Caring Hearts volunteer, Griffith offers help, encouragement and emotional support to cardiac patients and their families by serving as a model for a healthy recovery from a cardiovascular event and as a valuable source of information.
He works in the CCU waiting room on Mondays and has an outstanding reputation for taking care of families by providing updates on their loved one whether they are in the Cath Lab or in the recovery room. He also accompanies families, taking them anywhere they need to go in the hospital.
Like all Caring Hearts volunteers, Griffith was once a Baylor Dallas patient, having had bypass and valve replacement surgery at the age of 94, before completing cardiac rehabilitation at the Baylor Tom Landry Fitness Center.
Griffith cites two factors in remaining so vibrant as he passed the century mark. “I try to stay active. I exercise, and I help people.”
While he only joined the Caring Hearts team in 2008, his long life has always been long in service as well.
He served in World War II and the Korean War, building power stations across the Pacific. As a master electrician who owned his own business for 30 years, Griffith also has spent much of his life involved in the International Mission Board, making more than 40 trips abroad to help construct and wire churches, hospitals and orphanages. He has been to Brazil, Russia, Romania, Lithuania, South Africa, Kenya, Germany, England and Wales.
He is also active in his church, serving as an usher, greeter, deacon and, according to Griffith, a “general flunkie!”
“Caring Hearts is very lucky to have this gentle and loving man in our group,” says JoAnne Spears, manager of the Baylor Dallas/BHCS Caring Hearts Program. “The families love him, as does the staff and his fellow volunteers.”
Spears adds, “If you want to keep young, just go visit Clarence on Mondays to get a few tips.”