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Patient's mom illustrates inspiring quotes for pediatric unit

Friday, May 22, 2020
By Morag MacLachlan

While visiting her son at Duke University Hospital's pediatric cardiac intensive care unit, one mother would take out her drawing pad and begin Bible journaling. It's a practice that involves writing and illustrating inspirational religious quotes.

“I wanted to deck out his room in color and make it brighter," she said.

With a degree in art and 10 years' experience as an art teacher, this mom's work quickly caught the eye of neurodevelopmental nurse clinician Meghann McCoy, BSN, RN, CPN. McCoy had been compiling a list of the encouraging quotes included in the Duke Health daily COVID-19 taskforce emails. She wondered if this mother could bring those words to life.

“She loved this idea and worked really hard to get them all done prior to her son's discharge," McCoy said.

A cheery yellow light bulb with orange rays illuminates Elizabeth Barrett Browning's words, “Light tomorrow with today." John Muir's quote, “The sun shines not on us, but in us," is punctuated with flowing handwriting and a sunrise. The effective is uplifting and artistic.

“It felt good to give back to the team who was caring for my son and to the other families on the unit," she said. “I would work on the drawings at night too when I was away from my son. It was hard to be away from him, but this project also turned out to be art therapy for me."

In total, the patient's mom drew 21 inspirational drawings for the PCICU using a combination of colored Sharpies and brush pens.

“I hope people going through a tough time will stop and read the inspiring words as well as find happiness in the bright colors," she said.​​