At Tidelands Waccamaw, the quilts are reserved for patients expected to spend their final days at the hospital, including people who have chosen to stop fighting a terminal illness and instead spend the time with family and friends.
“It adds an extra layer of comfort and support for them,” says Jonella Davis, clinical director of 3 East at the hospital. “And for their families, the quilts can become a cherished way to remember their loved one.”
Kristi Jones, a nurse on 3 East, brought up the idea of the quilts as a way to broaden the emotional and spiritual support the hospital offers to terminally ill patients. She had seen firsthand the impact it can have on a patient when her grandmother died at a hospital in Kentucky.
“When someone decides to choose comfort care, it can be the loneliest feeling,” she says. “You question yourself – it’s just a sad moment.”
But when a nurse laid on her grandmother a quilt made by volunteers from a local church, there was an immediate change in her grandmother’s outlook, Jones said.
“You could see it in her eyes – she had such peace over her,” Jones says. “Just knowing that people had prayed over the quilt and it was blessed, it made that journey so much better.”
When Jones reached out to the SUMC Stitchers through Pastor McPherson, the group quickly agreed to help.
For the group’s members, coming together to make the quilts is a reward unto itself. Sure, they sometimes nitpick each other over wavy seams, but it’s all in good fun.
“We’re like a bunch of sisters,” Richard says. “We all love each other. Doing this together makes it really easy to be friends.”