Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Hospital Space for Relaxation

As you go through cancer treatment you need a place to sit quietly with friends and family. Every hospital has a space where families of patients can come together and relax with the hospital patient. There are little areas tucked away. Every hospital has one.

At the hospital I go to there is a little quiet space tucked away down by the chemotherapy infusion rooms which is comfortable and has a small lending library for patients and their family members.

At Children's Hospital in Boston, they have the Prouty Gardens. It has been there for sixty years and was donated for that specific purpose. Mrs. Prouty was told by the then hospital president, that it would stay until 'all children were well'. She then hired professionals to design and create the garden using her own money. On a plaque in the garden it says: “Because of Mrs. Prouty’s vision, this garden will exist as long as Children’s Hospital has patients, families, and staff to enjoy it’’. The value of this garden to patients and their families can not be measured.

Many families have spent time there with their children in their last days. They have even spread the ashes of their children there and have gone back to remember then there. Its a cemetery in some respects, even if its use as one was not intentional. Its a place of remembrance.

Now Children's Hospital is going to dig up Prouty Garden for the purpose of expansion. The claim is they need the space for more private rooms, a neonatal intensive care unit, and a heart center. Big business interests have taken over the wishes and desires of patients, former patients, deceased patients, and their family members.

On one level I can understand the need for the hospital to expand and add more space to treat more patients. All businesses run into the need to expand. They find more space where they could then expand. Children's Hospital has multiple campuses where they could expand elsewhere.

The idea of taking a space which has been used for contemplation and remembrance for so many for so long to build a huge building is very unjust. This whole idea just upsets me. The hospital went back on their word that has stood for decades. The only hope is that a judge will step in and rule to protect the garden.

1 comment:

Betty said...

I agree with everything you say about the Prouty Garden. I watched the son of a friend of mine use the garden on a daily basis with his family as he endured months of inpatient chemotherapy. To lose that garden will be such a loss. Healing doesn't just happen in hospital rooms, but also in calm beautiful spaces like the Prouty Garden. I too hope the judge makes the right decision.