In March 2020, the Horvath family’s world was flipped upside down. Only 10 days after the first statewide COVID-19 emergency closures were instated, then-8-year-old Colby was diagnosed with B lymphoblastic lymphoma.
“MGH rocks.” “I ‘heart’ nurses.” “I love you.” These are some of the messages the MassGeneral Hospital for Children Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) staff have received in cards from their families since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the first surge, the PICU transferred its young patients elsewhere to make way for adult COVID patients. The team members supported one another as well as their patients, but many of them came home each day to families who were worried about them. Then, they came up with a way for families to help – the children of PICU providers created cards filled with cheery artwork and inspiring messages to hang on the doors of the PICU.
Frontline health care workers at the MGH have seen an outpouring of support during the pandemic. The hospital has received hundreds of cards from the public, but for the PICU team, these ones were more personal.
The department recently worked with the Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation at the MGH and the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine at Harvard Medical School to create a display of these special cards, titled “Gratitude: Celebrating Frontline Staff at Mass General Hospital,” in the newly-renovated library lobby.
A medical student collected oral histories from some of the PICU staff, and transcripts of their stories will be joining the exhibit. Through this exhibit, which will be available online mid-2022, parts of the Harvard Longwood Campus community get a behind-the-scenes look at a simple act of love and resilience shared between coworkers and families.
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