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Child art makes Mayo Clinic Health System patients’ days brighter

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - Health officials at Mayo Clinic Health System said they are doing all they can to brighten up the days for their COVID patients, and in doing so, have reached out to the community for help.

The community responded with drawings from kids and blanket donations.

Beth Komay, a frontline nurse at Mayo Clinic Health System, said patients have told her that the time they've spent at the hospital is draining and isolating.

"The people aren't in their homes. A lot of our patients are here for long periods. They are being treated in these kinds of cookie-cutter rooms, very bland, no pictures at all," Komay said. "All our patients have is a TV and maybe a window to look out of. It's not the beach view they are wanting."

To bring some cheer to patients, Komay reached out to the two elementary schools in the De Soto Area School District. Komay asked if the kids could create fun and colorful drawings for patients. Teacher Jennie Jaekel agreed. She and another elementary school teacher asked their kids to create their best artwork. They did.

"I am so proud of my students. Sometimes the world we live in can get us down, and I think the more kindness we have surrounding us, the better," Jaekel said. "If kids see kindness as a top priority in their life, it is something that will carry with them for the rest of their lives."

Komay said she's received nothing but positive feedback from patients.

On top of the drawings, patients received 45 beautifully hand made quilts from local agencies like the Coulee Region Retired Senior Volunteer Program, and the Saint Patrick Catholic Quilting Group.

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Lindsey Ford

Lindsey Ford is a multimedia journalist.

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