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Patient Quotes, Stories and Testimonies

These are the types of special moments that inspire our team every day:

Trena - 2011
"Trena was clear that she was not interested in doing any sort of activity. After a few minutes of trying to spark her interest, she agreed to make a clay bowl. Three minutes later she had a beautifully crafted clay bowl, and she decided to stamp the "Love" into it. She was smiling and told me that nobody would believe she made it, and that she herself could hardly believe it. She then told me that I gave her the confidence she lacked to make something beautiful. She said that next time, she would be more open to trying new things."

Lauren Corbin, Artist in Residence
Peter - 2011
"Peter was in clear physical discomfort when I arrived at his room. He told me that he had too much on his mind to focus on learning a new thing but that he would try. I took out a watercolor set and got him set up to paint. He started moving the paint around and did not speak for a few minutes. After a little while, he looked up and said: ‘I just realized that I'm not thinking about anything except watching these colors swirl together, thank you.’ He was happy to have been distracted by the activity, even if it was just for a few minutes. It made me realize that something as simple as moving paint around a surface can really calm someone down and create ease in any environment."

Lauren Corbin, Artist in Residence
Sean - 2011
"Sean has been at UF Health for quite a long time, Arts in Medicine has worked with him for well over six months. In the beginning, he liked us to bring him coloring pages. Over time, we have moved from coloring to paint, and now on to more three dimensional and complex projects. He always tells us that he enjoys the visits and looks forward to what we will bring him this week. His nurses have time and again told us that he is the most relaxed when we offer him a creative outlet and that they have also seen a positive shift in his attitude."
Anonymous – 2011
"I know that people in the hospital tend to be grouchy. I was. I was in the mindset that the last that I wanted to do was create something, but to my surprise it really did help me. My nurses would tell you that at 3 a.m., when they came to check on me, they would find me working on something you left me, a painting, using only the red light on my finger as my light source. It helped me keep my mind cleared on sleepless nights. Please know that what you are doing helps people, and don't stop. You made my day every time I thought about your visit."
Nicole – 2011
"When I walked into her room, Nicole was dubious about creative projects and visibly and intensely stressed. However, after we chatted for a minute, she decided to make a bowl. As she worked on it, she told me how she was calling her as-yet-unborn baby Sputnik, Russian for little friend or little traveler. As she worked and talked, she grew visibly less agitated and more excited about the baby. As she spoke she seemed to internally come to the conclusion that everything would be okay. In this case, patience and humor were keys to the success of our visit."

Madeleine Peck Wagner, Artist in Residence
Susanne – 2010
"Susanne was admitted to the hospital in our long term care unit, away from her family and everything familiar to her. When I visited her the first time, she was eager to paint and draw. As I visited her over consecutive weeks, sometimes she would be energetic and sometimes she would be tired, but her enthusiasm for art and conversation never flagged. Together we worked through the AIM repertoire of projects and even invented some of our own. Periodically her family would come and visit, taking all her projects home, and she’d be ready to try a new suite. Her willingness to laugh and smile is a reminder to invite the world in."

Madeleine Peck Wagner, Artist in Residence
Moses – 2010
"A deeply religious man, Moses had recently suffered an unimaginable loss. But when I visited him, he was not wallowing in pity; rather he was talking about what fine care he’d received here at UF Health, and how grateful he was to the staff. When I explained to him about AIM, he was engaged, but didn’t want to do any of the projects. So I finally asked what he’d like to do. He said he hadn’t been able to read his Bible since he’d been in the hospital and asked if I would I read aloud to him. He chose the book (Matthew), and as I read, he started commenting on the passages. I think he wanted to feel instructive and heard,so I listened."

Madeleine Peck Wagner, Artist in Residence
Linda - 2010
"Linda spoke about her cancer and the pain of chemotherapy. I gave her a birdhouse to paint. Afterward, she smiled ear to ear and told me that experience gave her great optimism and that she was looking forward to putting her birdhouse on her front porch. She expressed how grateful she was and how this had given her something to look forward to."

Lauren Corbin, Artist in Residence
Jennifer - 2010
"I gave her a canvas and some paint, and she began to draw shapes and then paint. After several minutes, she looks up and says, 'I'm not someone I ever imagined would make art, but this painting is relaxing me and it looks good, so maybe I am an artist.'

Lauren Corbin, Artist in Residence
Loretta – April 14 2011
"I love this clay bowl I just made with you. I will keep it forever, honestly. If I wasn’t hooked up to so many machines, I'd give you a hug – I'm so happy."

Lauren Corbin, Artist in Residence