By Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) –  If you or anyone you love has ever spent time in a hospital bed, you know it can be a time of great anxiety.

But the patients at St. Joe’s in St. Paul got some extra comfort this Christmas Eve.

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In fact, thousands and thousands of patients over the past 40 years have been comforted by an 83-year-old woman named Beverly.

If you ever call a Health East Hospital, Beverly Frarack may answer your call.

It’s a job that can be heavy at times; she also answers the hospice line.

“Sometimes they’re crying, their family member has deceased,” she said. “I try to keep them on the line if they’re alone, try to make them comfortable.”

In fact the 83-year-old operator tries to make a lot of people feel comfortable.

A full-time employee, in at 4:30 am, she delivers a prayer five days a week at 7 a.m. sharp.

It’s a decades old tradition she took over from a nun, Sister Florence.

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About five miles down the road from the dispatch center where Beverly works, her voice is heard at St. Joseph’s Hospital.

Brett Hildebrand is a nurse at the hospital in cardiac care.

“It gives you something to think about right away,” he said, “It’s kind of like a fresh start every morning.”

Carrie Steinke is a receptionist at the hospital. She watches people pause when the prayer comes over the intercom.

“I had one woman who actually started crying a little bit,” she said. “I think she was having a hard time in the hospital, and then she hears that over the intercom and she was like, ‘Ahh.'”

“It means comfort to people who are in the hospital,” Frarack said.  “When you’re in a hospital, it’s a lonely place.”

Somehow it seems a little less lonely thanks to Beverly and that comfort from above.

Beverly says she has no plans to retire.

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She hopes to still be working full time at 95, still praying for her patients.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield