We were dealing with a tragic situation – the death of a child. Adding to the difficulty of the situation was our language barrier with the parents. As you can imagine, walking parents through the experience of removing life supporting machines and allowing their child to die naturally is a delicate and long process. Pacing and timing are difficult even when you are not dealing with a language barrier.
Marcelo made himself available in such a way that it felt like he was physically present with this family. He was compassionate and stayed fully present even during periods of long silences. The family wished him to stay on the line and he did so, even though the process was many hours long. He provided privacy when appropriate by turning off his video monitor while still responding immediately when the need for him arose.
It was obvious that the situation touched him – I imagine it is not something that your interpreters deal with regularly. I hope Marcelo was able to comfort himself with the knowledge that he made a difficult situation better. Marcelo, I believe, would tell you he was just doing his job – but to us he was an invaluable presence that aided a very isolated and desperate family and he did it beautifully.
Reverend Marianne Brandon Wilson
Staff Chaplain II
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center