KITCHENER -- Local hospitals have a song of hope to celebrate COVID-19 patients on the path to recovery.

The Beatles classic “Here Comes the Sun” plays over the PA system when a COVID-19 patient is discharged.

Earlier this month, Larry Dietrich’s family captured the moment as he was being wheeled out of Grand River Hospital’s Freeport Campus with staff cheering him on.

“I was counting the hours,” said Dietrich on that day.

The idea started last year at St. Mary’s General Hospital in Kitchener by staff trainer Leslie Waitson, a staff trainer.

“I thought this is such a joyful, hopeful song,” said Waitson.  “The first time it was actually played was on Christmas Eve.

“It’s been such a uniting thing for our team,” added Lee Fairclough, president of St. Mary’s Hospital. “Where ever you are, you just stop and you know something happened. It’s very special."

Cambridge Memorial Hospital and Grand River Hospital have adopted playing the song.

Hospital staff agree The Beatle’s classic is bittersweet, acknowledging the COVID-19 patients who will never get to go home.

But say the song helps staff at local hospitals feel stronger together.

“We are going to get to the other side of this,” said Waitson.