A pleasant distraction can be good medicine for patients waiting to be seen or visitors feeling sad about the declining health of a loved one. That’s the thought, and thoughtfulness, behind a couple of Eagle Scout projects that are enhancing the environment at Johnston Health Clayton and the SECU Hospice House.
Last April, Nick Leedmon of Clayton broke his wrist and went to the Clayton ED for treatment. While he waited to be seen, he longed for a game or a book to help keep his mind off his painful injury.
A few years ago, Preston Renfrow of Smithfield visited his grandfather at the SECU Hospice House, and wished there had been a place to sit and hang out in the back yard.
Drawing from their personal experiences, Preston, 14, pursued a project to build garden benches, and Nick, 16, two bookcases stocked with books, games and activities for patients and visitors of all ages.
Both were responsible for planning, fundraising, coordinating and directing their projects.
The bookcases, which Nick calls distraction centers, are in a corner near the children’s table in the ED lobby and in the family waiting room of the ICU. Preston’s five benches edge the rose gardens on the back lawn of the hospice house.
Early on, both Boy Scouts met with Kyle McDermott, vice president of resource management for Johnston Health, for guidance on what materials and designs would be appropriate for the hospital and hospice house settings.
“I was impressed with their vision, and delighted that they chose us for their Eagle projects,” he said. “These furnishings were great ideas, and they’re having a positive impact on our patients and visitors.”
Indeed, Nick was taken aback when he recently returned to the Clayton ED and saw that many of the puzzle books and games had disappeared. “It’s cool that they’re getting used,” he said.
Nick has a plan for that, too. He’s assigned to the Webelos in his troop the task of regularly checking and restocking the shelves.