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A garden contributes to healing

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Photo courtesy of Legacy Emanual Hospital Burn Center.

(Read caption) From Kathy Hamilton's room at the Legacy Emanuel Hospital Burn Center in Portland, Ore., she could see a gorgeous garden and wanted to explore it.

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Kathy Hamilton leaned against her walker, as she slowly bent to pick a blueberry with her gauze-wrapped hands in the courtyard healing garden at Legacy Emanuel Hospital Burn Center in Portland, Ore., earlier this year.

Her story of how plants and a peaceful garden hastened her recovery and touched her heart is the first of two I’m sharing with you.

Last spring I interviewed a number of professionals and patients about the effects of plants on the healing process. Some of their stories beg to be told again, in more detail.

A propane stove exploded last summer while Kathy was in the family camper at a vacation site on the Washington coast. She was taken to the burn center immediately for treatment.

Kathy was confined to bed for a couple of days, but could look out of her window and see the garden. Once she was able to walk again, she was in the garden every day – touching, smelling, and feeling the beauty of the plants.

“Every day I pushed myself to get up and make at least a couple of treks to the garden. They even served my lunch out there the last two days I was in the hospital. What joy!" Kathy exclaimed.

“I can’t tell you how important that garden was and how much it meant to me. I could stop at any point, sit and watch butterflies and hummingbirds,” said the recent US Postal Service retiree from Rosburg, Wash.

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