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A Parent's Perspective: Why A Garden Will Help Me Just 'Be'

Lyn, from Hertfordshire and a parent of a patient at GOSH, explains why Morgan Stanley's Chelsea Flower Show garden will be so helpful.

Lyn’s 10-year old daughter Gabriella, is treated at GOSH for Juvenile Dermatomyositis, an auto immune disease known as JDM.

“When my daughter Gabriella was first admitted, (and for several weeks after), I was in a state of complete shock. I couldn't leave her at the beginning because she was too ill, but even when she was in physio and the hospital school I didn't feel able to leave the hospital - nothing felt safe and I felt I had to be in the building at all times.

Lyn and her daughter Gabriella at Great Ormond St Hospital.

The furthest I got to the outside world was sitting by the Peter Pan statue just in the front entrance. And when I eventually did venture out, I realized the seasons had changed and I had missed it! To have had a garden within the hospital would have allowed me to still be close to Gabriella, yet still be able to feel the sun on my face or the rain on my skin - things that make you feel alive, but you completely take for granted.

Somewhere to Go When Times are Hard

We stayed in the oldest part of the hospital, where there was no communal area for parents. You see each other in the kitchen and talk over a snatched cup of tea. This is fine, but when times are hard and you want to cry, scream, be angry or shout, there is nowhere to go! A garden would have given me somewhere to go, when times were tough and I needed time out. 

There were times when I didn't want to be in the real world and watch everyone going about their normal lives - when our lives had been so traumatised. I missed the smells of being outside, watching the birds, listening to the wind. A tranquil space, where you can just 'be' and not have to make any decisions or think about anything is very rare in hospital and it is probably the thing you need most.” 

Read more articles and blogs about Morgan Stanley's Chelsea Flower Show Garden for GOSH. 

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