Metal bracelets rustle on Steve Stanek’s wrist as he transports hospital patients. Like Steve, they seem to move with rhythm. With purpose. “Especially during COVID,” he said, “when things would get me down… I’d look down on my wrist and I always knew that music could save me and make me feel better.”
The former firefighter found a beautiful way to cope on the frontlines at Banner Boswell Medical Center in Sun City, AZ. He surprises patients who are having an especially tough time, giving them one of the bracelets he carefully crafts from guitar strings.
“The Things They Carry” is an ongoing series of profiles highlighting Banner Health’s frontline workers and the personal items that bring them strength and inspiration each day, as they continue to save lives and help make life better for patients. The project is inspired by a popular book about the Vietnam War, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, which humanized the story of the soldiers by focusing on unique things they carried during combat.
To view other inspiring stories from this series, check out the following:
- The 82 words etched in his silver ring are nearly microscopic but speak volumes. Learn more about the importance of those words for Craig Rufener.
- Among the electronic blips and boops of life-saving equipment, a cheerful chime trails down the hall of an intensive care unit. Spreading a little cheer to her team, here is Kaleena Holmes’ story.
- Piper Daulton gently pulls the necklace from her scrubs. She displays the black Hawaiian pearl with pride. Piper explains its personal importance.