A thank you from the heart

Patient commissions artist to express her thanks


This story appears in the 2019 spring/summer edition of Connections Magazine.


Watercolor card made by Cheryl’s friend

Going home was not the best option for Cheryl Stenzel following her recent knee surgery performed by longtime orthopedic surgeon and Gritman board member Dr. Charles Jacobson here at Gritman.

Cheryl’s hometown of Pierce was still fully in winter’s grip, which meant the 32-mile drive down state Highway 11 to Orofino for daily physical therapy sessions would often be treacherous or even impossible.

Dr. Jacobson, working in partnership with Gritman staff, recommended that Cheryl stay in the hospital as a swing-bed patient to receive additional care during the beginning stages of her physical therapy. Cheryl’s stay totaled more than two weeks — and the staff made her feel right at home.

Cheryl had ample time to get to know the nurses, doctors and other staff, and, she said, they became “her family for 15 days.”

Her morning routine included a stroll through Gritman’s hallways, and it was during these walks that Cheryl often thought of her garden back in Pierce to find strength and keep a positive attitude about her recovery.


Cheryl’s garden in Pierce, Idaho

She began to imagine her garden’s brick walkway — constructed by her husband — lining the hallways, the nurses and staff became her flowers, and a CNA was a busy bee always buzzing around.

That imagination was brought to life in an original watercolor card illustrated by Cheryl’s friend Diane Gerot, owner of Studio 205 in Pierce. Cheryl left the card as a parting thanks to those who cared for her.

In a note inscribed on the inside of the card, Cheryl wrote that she thinks of the staff often, and while she may not have remembered everyone’s name, she would not forget the kindness of those who cared for her.


Spring/Summer 2019 Connections

As a nonprofit community hospital, Gritman Medical Center publishes Connections magazine twice a year to keep you informed and up-to-date with everything that’s happening in our hospital and regional network of clinics.

Read Spring/Summer 2019 Connections