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Patient turns hospital wall into message board



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SALT LAKE CITY -- Patients are expressing their love-hate feelings on the walls of a Salt Lake hospital, and it all started with one man walking a hallway late at night.

Their messages appear on a temporary wall separating patients on the fifth floor from a construction project. Bruce Daughters, a cancer patient, started the whole thing with one drawing and his name.

"One night I couldn't sleep, so I came up around 11:30 or so and spent two and a half hours in the hallway," Daughters said.

We're not talking about some 6-foot-by-8-foot wall, we're talking about wall after wall after wall -- all filed with emotion, hope, humor and poetry:

"We love you, Dad."

"Rest in peace"

"Live life to the fullest."

"Love everyone no matter what."

"Laugh at every dumb family memory."

"Cancer sucks!"

"Hope"

One patient even wrote an ode to nurses.

Cancer patient Brandy Chase's contribution to the wall: "Now that I'm bald, I can really see my face and my eyes, and they're beautiful, and I see my heart in them."

Chase lets her emotions flow. For her, this is therapeutic. "This is something that is happening to me, like really happening to me," she said.

"Even for us as nurses, we'll have a bad day, and you can come back and look at the wall and it's inspiring to us. It helps us remember the good patients and the good times. It's a healing wall all the way around," Kammi Lemmon said.

Meaghen Newman, who is also a nurse at LDS Hospital, said "[It's] pretty inspirational. I'll be sad to see it leave, actually. It's been a way to say ‘thank you' to us."

These walls will go, but the experiment is far from over. In fact, after remodeling, the hospital will install permanent white boards to write on.

E-mail: eyeates@ksl.com

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Ed Yeates

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