“Many notaries say they do not do hospital signings because they are depressing,” admits a Virginia notary. “However, these notarizations do provide an opportunity to give hope to people who may not be around much longer, and allow the notaries to see a side of life that makes them grateful for whatever they have.” “It’s always worth doing something for someone in pain,” adds one Tennessee notary who did the following notarization.
“It was for a diabetic who had had some kind of complications. She asked me to come to the hospital. She was on a gurney, but she needed cash out from her home, a refinance, and she was desperate,” recalls this accommodating Tennessee notary. “Every time her blood sugar dipped, we had to stop.” It is hard to imagine that nurses and doctors would allow a signing to take place under such conditions… but, I guess when people need money, they allow for all sorts of things. The woman got her money out of her home so she could pay her medical bills. “I wonder if she got to do anything else with some of that refinance money,” our Tennessee notary asks. “She was a fun person, but I guess all that sugar caught up with her. I try to avoid hospital signings, but will do them if people can’t find anyone else,” she says.
One Maryland notary signed a veterinarian at an animal hospital. The refinance took place right on the operating table after the young doctor had finished operating on a cocker spaniel who had a cyst. Operations on dogs cost anywhere from $1000 on up, so this knowledgeable young vet was able to purchase a new home in an area of Maryland from which lots of dog lovers commute to D.C. This particular dog belonged to a retired army colonel, and was his pride and joy. “It was the only ‘hospital signing’ where I wasn’t working for the patient,” our Maryland notary recalls.
A more dismal hospital visit was made by a mature male Virginia notary who was shaken by what he saw. “It was in the middle of a hurricane, well, during one part of a hurricane. Getting there was awful. But I was asked to go notarize a will. Well, this guy was in the hospital bed…and I realized he had been amputated from the navel down. But it gets worse,” says our Virginia notary. It seems they “had amputated one leg–but it was the wrong leg…so they ended up amputating both legs.” The notary pauses as if he is sighing. He asks me not to include the name of the hospital, and adds,”You have trouble sleeping after seeing something like this. This man didn’t know how long he would live, and he had pretty much lost his faith in doctors, the military, and everyone else but me. This put a lot of weight on me, and I tried to be as kind as possible and not show how truly upset I was. That man never recovered, but I have never recovered from seeing him and hearing his story,” says our Virginia notary.
A slightly more upbeat hospital signing was for a ‘cash out,’ a refinance, and the notary was asked to come to the hospital. “I ended up signing this woman on the commode,” says our undaunted Maryland notary. “Sometimes,” she points out, “you just have to go the extra mile… even if it just means sitting still.”
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