Memorial Butterfly Release features unveiling of new Hospice Room at Angel Medical
Angel Medical Center hosted the second annual Memorial Hospice Butterfly Release Tuesday morning, in memory of those who have died this past year and in honor of the hospice caregivers who work to provide the ultimate comfort and support to hospice patients and their families.
Jean Sprinkle, Hospice Director for Angel Medical Center, headed the event. “This is the second year we have had the butterfly release and I really believe it is so important for the hospice patients and their families,” said Sprinkle.
Due to rain, the ceremony was moved to the front of the hospital. A large crowd turned out to remember lost loved ones and to participate in releasing 425 butterflies. Each guest was given his/her own butterfly to be released after a ceremony filled with prayer, song, and poetry dedicated to hospice caregivers and their patients.
Sprinkle led guests in a litany that moved several individuals to tears. “Take us to you; heal us, strengthen us to touch the lives of other with your changing spirit,” Sprinkle and guests spoke in unison.
The butterflies are released as a symbol of transition and change. “They’re beautiful and they’re mysterious, but mostly it is what they represent — a transition,” explained Sprinkle. “Butterflies are hopeful creations. Butterflies herald the renewal of life and as they fly around and touch down here on a hand or there on an arm, they remind us that though our loved ones are gone, we can still feel their touch here and there, but always in our hearts.”
Jennifer Wells, hospice caregiver, spoke to guests and expressed her appreciation and offered encouragement to patients and family members. “As you release this butterfly in honor of me, know that I’m with you and will always be. Hold a hand, say a prayer, close your eyes and see me there,” she said. “Although you may feel a bit torn apart, please know that I’ll forever be in your heart. Now fly away butterfly as high as you can go, I’m right there with you more than you know.”
When it was time for release, the butterflies, who traveled from Florida, needed a few minutes to warm up and get used to the mountain air. Once warm, several butterflies fluttered to nearby flowers, while others rested on the shoulders of ceremony guests.
After the memorial ceremony Angel Medical CEO, Tim Hubbs invited guests to a dedication service for four newly remodeled hospice rooms located on the second floor of the hospital.
The new inpatient hospice rooms include two new patient rooms and two specially designed family rooms. The remodeling began in April and finishing touches were completed only minutes before the rooms were revealed to the public.
According to Bonnie Peggs, AMC’s Director of Marketing and Public Relations, the new additions were established with the help of a committee of 12 volunteers, which included hospice and hospital staff and volunteers from the public. The attention to detail and diligent effort of the volunteers makes each room feel a little more like home for the patients and their families.
“Everything from the cabinet colors to the type of wood selected for the floors, every detail was carefully considered and planned with the intention of creating a warm and inviting environment for families and patients,” said Sprinkle. “The furniture is covered in specially selected upholstered medical fabric that can resist stains but is still comfortable.”
Peggs explained that the rooms are located in a wing of the hospital which allows them to be isolated from loud, distracting traffic. The new rooms are the only rooms for patients on the hall, allowing privacy and peace of mind for patients.
Even the artwork on the walls was specially selected because of the soothing, tranquil scenes they depict. Each of the four rooms feature specifically selected photographs from local artist, Michael M. Rogers. Each of the pieces depict a scene from the Western North Carolina wildlife and encompass the overall theme of a journey indicative of the journey the patients are on in their lives. Several of Rogers’ paintings display inspirational quotes such as, “Every day in the mountains is a gift — tomorrow is another opportunity for a miracle.”
Hubbs explained that the rooms were completely stripped down and remodeled so patients and their families can be as comfortable as possible. “The purpose of hospice is to provide care and support for people in their final stages of life-threatening disease,” stated Hubbs. “Our specialized team of healthcare providers and hospice staff provide comfort for those who are at the end of life. Both patient and family members are included in the care plan and emotional, spiritual, and practical support is given based on the patient’s wishes and the family’s needs.”
According to Hubbs, the rooms can also be used for guests who have large families and for respite stays of up to seven days, allowing primary caregivers time for physical rest, a psychological break, or to travel and attend family gatherings such as a wedding.
Hubbs hopes that after other current hospital projects are finished, through the success of the hospice rooms that all the rooms in the hospital can begin to be remodeled.