My grandfather suffered a stroke on March 20th 2020, at the onset of COVID-19. The following day, visiting hours were cut to none. My grandfather was in the Intensive Care Unit for a week with no visitors and no one to hold his hand. He was then moved to a stroke unit in the hospital and still had not seen any family members for over a week. After his time on the stroke floor, he was transported to Bridgepoint Active Healthcare to begin his rehabilitation journey.
Like countless others during this unimaginable time, my grandfather was alone without any opportunity to see family.
When my grandfather was in the ICU I was able to arrange to send a package to him with a canvas that I had painted of a sunset. This painting meant so much more to him then I could have ever imagined. He went on for days to talk about how many nurses, doctors and other front line workers commented on the picture and how much joy it brought him every single day.
Over the past two months, I have sent him another canvas and many posters I created and he says that they really brighten his days.
This unforgettable experience inspired me to create Art For The Hearts, a non-profit organization that provides art in many forms to individuals in hospitals, long term care facilities, rehabilitation centres and retirement homes to warm their hearts.
Due to COVID-19, volunteers and family members are still unable to visit patients. Having volunteered myself at many different hospitals, I understand the direct impact that we can have on the patient experience and positive mindset. I am hoping that these pieces of artwork will help individuals who are in these settings, bringing greater joy and brightness into their everyday lives.