History of Comfort Care Room
On October 17, 2012 John and Agnes Teal lost their daughter Genevieve "Jenny Lou" Teal Halko to breast cancer. Jenny was admitted to the hospital and the family wanted to remain close to say their good-byes and make sure that Jenny had someone there all the time. The family actually had to use two rooms. The first room remained quiet where Jenny was surrounded by her loved ones. The second room was where her huge boisterous family reminisced about past and present days with Jenny.
When Jenny passed away her parents came to Friends of Lewis County Hospice and asked if there was a place within the hospital where terminally ill patients could experience their last days in privacy with family members, a place where the family could watch videos with their loved one, play music, eat, reminisce, or sleep over, so the patient and family could experience end of life the same way they had with Jenny; a place that could be made homier than a sterile hospital room. FOLCH talked to LCGH administration and the room at the end of the East Wing in the hospital became known as the Comfort Care Room. The Teal Family donated a sum of money to FOLCH to get the ball rolling and FOLCH has a restricted fund within their organization that is exclusively used for maintaining the Comfort Care Room. The fund has provided meals for the family, furniture, curtains, comforters, TV and DVD player, stereo and other items for the room, all of which help to make it a very peaceful and tranquil place for the family. The room was dedicated and a plaque placed outside the room calling it the "Jenny Teal Halko" room.
Recently Friends of Lewis County Hospice used their Comfort Care monies to purchase new comforters, tablecloths and valances for the room. They have supplied a flower arrangement, new stereo system and a basket of supplies for guests to use.
Anyone interested in donating towards the Comfort Care Room please contact Friends of Lewis County Hospice treasurer, Linda Noftsier, at 315-493-1358 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hospice Memorial Garden
The Lewis County Hospice Memorial Garden site is located in the Lowville Village Park on Parkway Drive. The site was approved by the Lowville Village Board in 1998. The garden has been maintained annually since its inception by Hospice Volunteers.
The initial concept of the Memorial Garden was to create "a garden to be used by the general public whether in time of bereavement or simply to enjoy." The original plan was to create an inner garden in the shape of a butterfly. The butterfly would symbolize "hope." Eventually, we hope to incorporate Monarch butterfly stones in the garden.
In May, 2005 a total overhaul of the overgrown garden was completed by 16 volunteers donating a total of 92 hours. This was in preparation for the arrival of a life-sized granite angel that was donated to the garden in memory of Katy Stefhon-Allen. Donation was made by Katy's family and friends. The angel was hand carved in China by one individual. The angel then made her way by ship to the U.S. and up the Eastern seaboard and eventually to the Hospice Garden. Her arrival to the garden was preceded by digging and cement foundation donated by Virkler's Concrete. The placement of the garden's angel required a presentation by Mary Ingersoll to the Hospice Board of Directors and the Lowville Village Board and approval was granted.
The garden remains a work in progress. Its many visitors sit and contemplate and enjoy the beauty of the garden. It is such a place of peace and comfort.