Donor-funded Flowers Cheer Patients

Nurses enjoy brightening patient days

On a dreary, rainy November day, Joanie O’Neil of Nashua, New Hampshire, sat in her hospital bed at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center. The weather matched her mood. What she didn’t know was that six nurses with big smiles on their faces were heading toward her room with a bright yellow bouquet of flowers.
Elise Polleys, RN, Joanie’s nurse for the shift, and the 6 Southeast nursing team burst into Joanie’s room with a cheer of, “Surprise!” Joanie’s face instantly lit up when she saw the flowers and the happy faces of those who delivered them. On a day when her only companionship was the infomercial host on TV, this sunny gesture was just what the doctor ordered.

“I really didn’t expect it when I saw everyone coming in,” Joanie said. “It was a pleasant, pleasant surprise.”

The goal of the flower program is to brighten the day of a patient who needs it. “Joanie could have definitely used a pick-me-up today,” Elise explained right after the delivery. “This was perfect for her.”

Every month, an anonymous donor sends one bouquet to the hospital. Each floor takes a turn receiving the flowers and gifting them to a patient.

“I know sometimes in the hospital it’s a little bit tough,” Elise said. “This makes them feel like they’re really in good hands.” And it makes the nurses feel good, too. Joanie gave Elise a big hug that made her day.

Joanie was so touched by the gesture, she had to know who sent her the flowers. Elise told her the donor doesn’t want any recognition, just the knowledge that this donation made someone’s hospital stay a little easier.

“Whoever this beautiful person is, you tell them I’m going to pray for them,” Joanie said.