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Mini Christmas trees brighten patient rooms at Gaylord Hospital

A Christmas tree for any patient that wants one.

WALLINGFORD, Conn. — A Secret Santa project at Gaylord Hospital is making spirits bright for dozens and dozens of patients there. A recently released Gaylord Hospital patient decided to make it her mission to offer two-foot-tall Christmas trees to her fellow patients.

“It all started with one of the patients, somebody who wanted to make a difference -- who received a lit tree in her room, and it brightened her day and, she thought, why don’t all the patients have this?” said Tara Knapp, the vice president of external affairs at Gaylord Specialty Healthcare.

Jackie Bouza, a current patient at Gaylord Hospital, who is also a physician, said getting a Christmas tree for her room while she is rehabbing has made her holiday season just a bit more special. 

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“I have not been able to see all the lights and decorations outside… and this brings me so much happiness," said Bouza.

Knapp added that the anonymous Secret Santa raised enough money to pay for 41 fully decorated mini trees, then Amazon got wind of the goodwill project and donated an additional 85 trees. 

“Now we’re in a position for anyone in the hospital who would like a tree to brighten their room, to brighten their day will receive one,” Knapp said. 

“It’s all about the gesture, it’s about the spirit and it’s about making people’s lives better,” Knapp added, as she watched hospital staffers delivering more trees to patients.

Jimmy Altman is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at jaltman@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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