Gifts from community bring comfort and safety to patients

May 26, 2020
Donated teddy bears
Generous and thoughtful donation of teddy bears.

During a time that has been stressful and unsettling for many, our community has responded in so many kind and generous ways to remember our patients, young and old. Gifts have included new teddy bears for children, toys and games, clothing and shoes, and other necessities.

One of these recent gifts, by an extremely generous donor who has donated close to $10,000 to the Department of Psychiatry this past month, was an industrial-sized blanket warmer for our child and adolescent inpatient unit. Recreational therapist Holly-Ann Turner and clinical nurse Cynthia Dearing shared a story of a patient who had enormous difficulty at bedtime and would frequently end up in seclusion as a result of disruptive/aggressive behavior. This child had a history of being abused, and consequently, was very guarded around adults. Dearing explained that one evening she decided to try a warm blanket and offered the child a seat near her on the recliner.

“He agreed but was leery," Dearing said. "All of his muscles were tense as if waiting for an attack. I took the warm blanket and wrapped him up in it, and after a few seconds he relaxed against me. It was the first time other than when he was sleeping that I had seen him relax. That night he fell asleep quickly and peacefully. For some it might just seem like a blanket, but for him it was safety. I have used warm blankets with many patients since then, and it always helps them feel cared for and secure.”

We are so grateful for generous donors who truly make a difference in our patients’ lives.