NewsPositively Hampton Roads


Hospital worker inspires calm with song: ‘Make sure each patient has a little better experience’

Posted at 6:32 PM, Jul 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-01 18:32:43-04

WEST ALLIS, Wis. - The thing about John Melara is that you will often hear him before you actually see him.

It's impossible not to notice the bedside baritone whose official title is "imaging assistant," a job that requires him to wheel patients to and from procedures.

But, he throws the singing part in for free at one hospital in Wisconsin, Fox6Now reported.

John previously did plenty of amateur theater in his Navy boot camp chorus and has a Spotify-worthy collection of classics stored in his brain. And, when the time is just right and the patient has been briefed on business of the transport, the show begins.

He's also been on the other side of the gurney.

"I spent five days in a burn ward when I burned this part of my hand, and I know how terrifying a hospital is," John said.

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And once when working in a Pennsylvania hospital, he realized a lullaby was the only thing he could do do sooth an agitated and dangerous patient.

"It reinforces that, yeah, this is something I have to do every day: Make sure each patient has a little better experience because it's terrifying."

The reviews are glowing. He gets letters to the hospital that include thank you's like, "He melted my heart" and, "Just beautiful... Brought tears to my eyes that someone would be so kind and thoughtful."

John does take requests - and yes, some request he just stay quiet.