We’d like to share with you the words of the father of a patient at Children’s Health of Dallas. He wrote this message to the artist Ron Gordon, whose large-scale paper collages hang in several locations in that facility. The author has graciously allowed us to share his story with you.
First, grab a hankie.
My daughter was diagnosed with cancer when she was 4 and wasn’t given much of a chance to live. We spent countless hours at Children’s over a nine month period (surgery, radiation, chemo, etc…). There were many times late at night when I couldn’t sleep, and I would walk the halls to try and clear my mind. I often found myself pausing for long spells to stare at your art.
The depth and perspective of your collages are amazing. I came to think of my daughter as one of the butterflies being set free from her cocoon. I’m not sure how or why, but somehow your art helped me get through those tough times.
My daughter is almost eight now and is completely cancer free. She is deemed a survivor now, which is a minor miracle by itself. Nevertheless, I’m still struggling for closure. I still reflect back on those days and associate your art with some of the only happy memories from our adventure. It allowed me a chance to escape from reality.
Next week, at the inaugural meeting of the National Organization for Arts in Health (NOAH), we will share this story as part of a presentation on the healing art program at Children’s Health. NOAH will be a track within the annual Healthcare Facilities Symposium and Expo.