Comfortable in hospitals, Spartanburg Regional volunteer finds joy in helping rehab patients
Sydney Esposito has always felt comfortable in the hospital setting.
It’s one reason she’s been able to spark so much joy in the lives of patients, their families and associates inside Spartanburg Medical Center – Mary Black Campus while working with rehab patients.
Every Tuesday, she interacts with patients and leads enrichment programs to help boost their spirits during times that can be difficult.
Sometimes that looks like leading a game of bingo, helping facilitate a painting activity or bringing snacks and activity books to each of the patients in their rooms. Every week she meets a new face and is grateful to get to know others who could use encouragement.
Esposito, a 35-year-old from Spartanburg, was born with spina bifida and uses a wheelchair. Through overcoming her own obstacles, she can encourage other patients in their rehab journey.
“I've been in a hospital setting many times throughout my life and I know what it feels like to have someone cheer me up or help entertain me,” she said. “I just want to give that feeling to someone else. And if can accomplish that, then I've done my job.”
Esposito said she doesn’t think much about the word “inspiration” anymore. In fact, it’s become a bit of a taboo word for her, she said.
“I don’t actually think about how I inspire people because it’s just what I want to do,” Esposito said. “I’m just helping people. I’m giving people what I can offer.”
Often, Esposito finds herself in conversations with patients about the positives of what their body can do versus what they can’t do. She can offer tips and ideas to help them overcome some of their personal limitations, which has been a joy, she said.
Esposito came to volunteer at the Center for Rehabilitative Medicine at Spartanburg Medical Center – Mary Black Campus in late 2022. She first started volunteering with Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System back in 2017 with volunteer roles in pediatrics, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and pre-admission testing.
Perseverance is one word that Esposito uses to define how she keeps up her own motivation, and how she has come to be such a natural fit for volunteer roles.
“I try things until I find what works for me in order to accomplish my goals,” she said. “In regard to the rehab setting, I would hope I'm showing that even though something might not work the way it used to— for me my legs — that shouldn't stop you from living your life to the fullest.”
Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System has volunteers who help in all areas of the hospital setting. If you are looking for a volunteer opportunity or to learn more about ways to get involved, visit SpartanburgRegional.com/Volunteer.