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A gift of love

PSJMC receives memory box donation

Published: Monday, June 17, 2013 1:41 p.m. CDT
(Photo submitted by Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center)
Michelle Williams, Kelly Rayburn RN, Nicole Lusson and her son Kain proudly display some of the memory boxes donated to Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center from the Sawyer’s Heart Project.

JOLIET, Ill. — Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center recently received a generous donation of 67 memory boxes for its Labor, Deliver, Recovery and Postpartum (LDRP) unit from the Sawyer’s Heart Project.

The project distributes hospital memory boxes to help provide support to bereaved parents who have experienced a lost pregnancy, stillbirth or the loss of an infant. The memory boxes include items, such as hand and footprint plaster mold kids, disposable cameras, small candles, angel ornaments, handmade handkerchiefs and other items to help parents and family members preserve memories during a time of loss.

Michelle and Erik Williams founded the Sawyer’s Heart Project after they lost their infant son, Sawyer, in 2010.

“As my husband pushed me in a wheelchair out of the hospital’s birthing unit, I tightly clung onto the plaster mold of our son’s tiny feet, a lock of his dark hair and so many other special trinkets that I will always be grateful for receiving,” Michelle said. “At that moment, I knew that I never wanted another mother to leave the hospital with empty arms.”

This is the third year Sawyer’s Heart has donated memory boxes to Saint Joe’s, and the organization does this every year of honor of Sawyer’s birthday on June 1.

“It’s a remarkable way to remember loved ones who don’t get to take their child home,” said Kelly Rayburn, RN, LDRP bereavement coordinator. “It means the world to them and us. People go home and expect to bring their baby with, and these boxes are a great way to remember their little one.”

For more information or to donate to the Sawyer Heart Project, visit www.facebook.com/sawyersheart.

Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center is a regional referral center recognized for overall Clinical Excellence. Recently named to the “Top Hospitals” in Chicagoland area by Chicago magazine, St. Joseph Medical Center serves Will and surrounding counties, including the southwest Chicago suburbs, PSJMC offers private patient rooms and world-class health care. Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center is part of the largest Catholic health system in Illinois, recently established through a merger of Mokena-based Provena Health and Chicago-based Resurrection Healthcare. Visit us on the web at  www.provena.org/stjoes.

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