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.
The Northern New York Community Foundation (NNYCF) has awarded $1,250 from the George R. Davis Fund to the Friends of Lewis County Hospice/Hospice Memorial Garden. The award was received in August 2021.
Judge R. Davis established a charitable fund with the NNY Community Foundation upon his death is 2010. The funds are given to support projects and initiatives to enhance the quality of life for residents of the village and town of Lowville. The funds we received are targeted to replace the worn corner fencing that has been in the garden over 20 years.
The Hospice Memorial Garden was established in 1998 and receives many visitors each year. Visitors seek comfort and peace in the garden and remember their loved ones. In 2005, a large granite angel was donated to the garden to "honor those we have loved and lost who remain always in our hearts." Memorial stones also became available to honor loved ones. These funds are designated to assist FOLCH in maintaining the garden. Volunteers are major contributors to the success of the garden.
Friends of Lewis County Hospice wish to thank the Northern New York Community Foundation and the George R. Davis Community Fund for their assistance in funding a major portion of the cost for the new corner fencing.