For some, a simple fleece blanket does not hold much value. However, for patients treated by the Palliative Care Team at Mercy, a simple fleece blanket means so much more. When we find ourselves suffering from illness or watch as a family member spends their last days with us, a loving hand or a kind gesture can make all the difference in how we overcome and cope with life’s obstacles.
After falling ill in Arizona, Frank Beard was flown home to spend his final precious moments with his family. The flight team that flew with Frank left the blankets they had covering him, also leaving such a meaningful memory for Teddy Beard, Frank’s sweetheart.
Frank passed away in March 2015. To keep the memory of her late husband alive, Teddy now creates fleece blankets that are donated to the Mercy Palliative Care Center and gifted to patients who need a smile.
Each blanket has a journey and a story before making its way into the arms of a patient. Beginning with preparing the fabric, Teddy blesses each blanket with holy water. The holy water comes from all over the world, from Tubac, Arizona to Guadalupe, Mexico. Lastly, saying a prayer for the patient or person who will receive the blanket is the last touch given to each.
A wide array of blankets with multiple colors and themes are available for patients to choose from. Veterans are given a red, white and blue blanket, a small American flag and are read Psalm 91 – the Soldier’s Prayer – in honor of their service to our country.
When blankets are gifted, staff members record comments from the patient and family members in a journal which is then shared with Teddy.
For decades, Teddy has been instilling the act of philanthropy within her six children. She shares that being in-tune with others’ needs – whether they can give a little or pray – every simple gesture helps.
“It’s amazing how a simple little blanket can bring comfort and peace to others, while bringing such joy and blessing to us,” she said.
Since 2015, hundreds of blankets have been gifted to Mercy Medical Center patients. From Iowa to Arizona, blankets have journeyed their way across the nation, giving that little touch of care where possible.
Individuals wishing to join in supporting Mercy Pain and Palliative Care may donate to the Mercy Palliative & Pain Care Center by following this link and choosing ‘Other’ as the designation.