Memorial garden honours HSA staff member

| 29/11/2016 | 0 Comments
CNS Local Life

HSA staff and family members clear site for Chelsea’s Garden

(CNS Local Life): Volunteers and donors joined staff at the Health Services Authority (HSA) to complete a memorial garden at the Cayman Islands Hospital, constructed in honour of former staff member Chelsea Doxey, who passed away from ovarian cancer in 2015. Doxey, who worked as a paramedic in the emergency medical services department, was 27 when her two-year battle with ovarian cancer ended July last year.

The project developed from Doxey’s last wish to be remembered always. Her twin sister, Cilicia Dacosta, recalled, “In her final moments, Chelsea asked to never be forgotten and with this garden we have now created a memorial in her honour which will also help other persons who are affected by cancer.”

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Chelsea Doxey

During her illness, Doxey endured many extensive treatments at the chemotherapy unit. It is typical of a patient receiving chemotherapy to spend lengthy periods being confined to a chair with little to do except read a book or watch television. The garden was built to provide an alternative, creating additional space for patients where they can stretch their legs and relax whilst undergoing their treatments.

After her passing, the HSA and Cayman Islands Cancer Society granted permission to construct the garden on an area of undeveloped land next to the chemotherapy unit. Work on the project began 5 October, with HSA staff and Doxey’s family members clearing the site. During this time, a local architect designed the garden; once the design was surveyed, materials were quantified and local companies were contacted to assist with the initiative.

Debra Gaffigan, HSA occupational health and safety officer, who was the main overseer of the project, said of the work, “These companies donated materials and labourers volunteered their skills; this combined effort of all involved makes the garden a true community project. Without these efforts completion of the garden would not have been possible.”

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The completed memorial garden

Finished 18 November, the garden features a brick walkway, a gazebo with a wooden bench donated by the Breast Cancer Foundation, and a memorial stone wall with a plaque dedicated to Doxey. “Chelsea was quite a character and so we wanted this plaque to reflect her personality,” Gaffigan said.

The memorial wall is also open to family members who would like to pay tribute to loved ones they have lost as a result of cancer.

At the grand opening ceremony Wednesday, 23 November, all donors and contributors to the garden were acknowledged.

HSA CEO Lizzette Yearwood, who was among the volunteers who worked to get the garden created, said: “To Chelsea’s family, friends and colleagues and to all the volunteers and donors, we say thank you for all the work, support, words of encouragement and guidance that you gave during the time the project was ongoing.

“We truly believe that this garden will both honour Chelsea and will benefit other cancer patients while they are receiving their treatments in the years to come.”

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Category: Medical and Health

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