Margaret enjoys her new laptop

These moments are so special for us. It is wonderful to see someone’s face light up because they now have a piece of technology that most of us take for granted. Our latest recipient of a laptop is Margaret Shaddox, a patient at UF Health/Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Florida. (Follow this link if you would like to make a contribution to help us continue this project!)

Margaret faces a long road to recovery from a serious operation, and with the help of Discharge Facilitator Kathleen David, we were able to learn about Margaret’s challenge. Kathleen mentioned that Margaret was far from home, and she would be in the hospital for a long while.

Kathleen and Margaret

Kathleen and Margaret

“My family is in Panama City – a long way away – and we did not have a good way to stay in touch while I’m here in Gainesville,” said Margaret. “I had to come here for this operation, and my daughter wanted to Skype with me.”

New ArtThread laptop!

New ArtThread laptop!

Margaret will be able to do more than Skype with her brand new Dell touch-screen laptop. She can play games, watch movies, and of course get creative online with ArtThread’s art-making tools and the interactive gallery. We discovered that she was not very familiar with computers, and that’s where Clinical Leader Marsha Crane stepped in to help.

Making art with Splash!

Making art with Splash!

“I have volunteers who come in regularly, and we’ll make sure they create Margaret’s new Facebook and Skype accounts,” said Marsha. “We’ll take good care of her!”

Marsha steps in to help

Marsha steps in to help

We were so pleased to see this level of support, and to see Margaret’s eyes light up when she discovered she could play Solitaire. “I love it!” she exclaimed.

Playing solitaire

Playing solitaire

The ArtThread team understands the importance of maintaining a thread of connection back to all that is familiar during the physical and psychological stress of diagnosis, treatment and recovery. Our communication in life and the way we share and present our journey is all part of our creative process.

Many families don’t have an extra portable computer to take to the hospital, and the financial burdens of illness and travel often prohibit the purchase of an additional one.

Margaret enjoys a Beatles video!

Margaret enjoys a Beatles video!

Our spirits, particularly during intense times in our lives, thrive on the support of our family and friends.  Patients need a way to connect themselves to their tribe—a connection that engenders smiles, belonging, and hope—all absolute necessities for optimum healing.

This is why we delegate some of our resources to give away free laptops. Please lend a hand by making a contribution!