Story and photos by Gregory Kennedy
EDMONTON — Nothing brings tidings of comfort and joy like a soft warm quilt tucked up to the chin for a winter’s slumber. Even better, nothing beats getting it for free.
Geriatric patients at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital were delighted this month to have their pick of eye-catching, colourful quilts, presented to them as gifts by the ladies of Bethel Lutheran Church in Sherwood Park, who have sent about 100 quilts to the hospital this year alone.
“I picked my quilt for the hearts (in the pattern),” says 70-year-old Carole MacKay, recuperating from a bad fall. “It’s very nice.”
“I think this is wonderful,” says Kara Cooper, volunteer resources coordinator for the Glenrose.
“It’s relatively new. They sent us their first shipment of 50 quilts in the summer, and now they’ve sent another 50 for the holidays. Most people are just surprised that they’re free.”
Whether they preferred pandas, whales, wolves, paisleys, the Canadian flag, festive designs or more — patients enjoyed a fun ‘shopping’ experience as they picked over the rolling cart laden with quilts to make their selection from a wide variety of styles and patterns.
One of the first patients to get a quilt was a female patient on a stretcher, en route to the tunnels that run under the street that link the Glenrose to the Royal Alexandra Hospital.
“It can get chilly in the tunnels,” says Cooper, “so she picked out a quilt, we put her name on it, and then she put it over her toes for the trip. She told us she wanted daffodils — so we actually found one for her with a few ‘daffies’ on it!”
As dozens of patients received their quilts, their collective joy also rubbed off on geriatric unit staff.
“I can feel how happy the unit is today,” says Loretta Gallant, a registered nurse. “We’re all happy.”