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Quilt dedicated to children, their families and medical staff, now decorates children's hospital

Quilt dedicated to children, their families and medical staff, now decorates children's hospital

SYRACUSE, N.Y.-- The Tree House Chapel in the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital was packed Thursday, as patients, staff and friends gathered to the unveiling of quilt that is decorated with more than 100 hand prints and names of pediatric patients and hospital staff.

The quilt, which measures six by 10 feet, hangs just inside the chapel entrance and acts a colorful greeting to visitors of the chapel that sits atop the children’s hospital.

The handprints that dot the quilt were gathered as part of a summer project developed in 2009 by Upstate’s Spiritual Care Center. Spiritual Care Center intern Steffany Thomas and Synergy/Mercy Works intern Amanda Jolly took handprint traces from patients and staff alike, which then were incorporated in the wall hanging design.

The wall hanging was created by Sharon Bottle Souva, a well-known quilter in the Syracuse. Souva previously has done other work for the children’s hospital.

Souva said the quilt is the largest piece she ever made, and maybe one of the most inspiring.

“This is a quilt dedicated to the children, their families, the doctors, the nurses and all the other grownups that care for the children at the hospital,” she said. “It is a tree with roots reaching into the earth for support and branches reaching into the sky for connection to the universal spirit in each of them. The hand prints of many give life to the roots and branches while their names written on the fabrics will remind all that they were here."

Funding for the quilt was provided by the Upstate Foundation, Advocates for Upstate Medical University and the Weedsport Snowmobilers Club.

In addition to the quilt, Upstate officials acknowledged the work of area resident Jerry Wright, who designed and created an altar and pulpit for the Tree House Chapel.

The creative energies that have furnished this special gathering place are a testament to the love and support that so many have for our children,” said the Rev. Terry Culbertson, Upstate's spritual care manager.