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Personal Experience Inspires an Employee’s Dedication to Gift Program

By on 12/16/2016

Memories of a sad, long-ago Christmas explain why Jeanne Fryar supports the Adopt-A-Patient program at Einstein Healthcare Network. The program, funded by donations from employees such as Fryar, provides a gift to every patient who’s hospitalized over the holidays.

This year, more than 1,000 inpatients at Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, Einstein Medical Center Montgomery, Einstein Medical Center Elkins Park and MossRehab, will receive blankets and slipper socks. Nurses in each unit will give out the gifts on Wednesday, Dec. 21 and Thursday, Dec. 22.

“I know what it is like to be at your lowest low, sick with worry as you face an uncertain diagnosis,” she said. “I also know what it is like to go to the highest high from the simplest kind gesture.”

Fryar, Outreach Manager for Einstein’s Center for Advanced Liver Disease and Transplantation, knows how uplifting such a gesture of kindness can be during a difficult time. In December of 2009, her daughter was hospitalized with a rare, catastrophic virus that left her paralyzed and threatened her life. Holiday festivities had been forgotten in the intense focus on 12-year-old Morgan’s health crisis. But on Christmas morning, Morgan awoke to find a colorful, hand-decorated pillow case and some books on her tray table, a gift from the hospital.

Fryar was there, having slept on the ottoman, when Morgan awoke. “She said, ‘Who gave me these?’” I said, ‘People we don’t know who are cheering you on.’ She was amazed.’” Morgan’s face lit up and for one moment, Fryar said, she was distracted from her plight.

Morgan had a very tough road ahead, with more than six years of follow-up care after her hospitalization at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, in which she had to relearn to walk, to make up lost months of school, to regain strength.  Actually, Fryar remembers that it was “six years, three months and 12 days” when Morgan was finally discharged from medical supervision.

Today, Morgan is a healthy 21-year-old college student.  And Fryar is mindful of the impact the Christmas gift had on Morgan when she was in the hospital. That’s why she’s dedicated to the campaign to bring gifts to Einstein patients. “As soon as I found out about it,” she said of the annual Adopt-A-Patient program, “I felt like it was a must.”

“I know what it is like to be at your lowest low, sick with worry as you face an uncertain diagnosis,” she said. “I also know what it is like to go to the highest high from the simplest kind gesture.”

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Perspectives highlights the expertise and services provided by the physicians, specialists, nurses and other healthcare providers at Einstein Healthcare Network. Through this blog, we share information about new treatments and technologies, top-tier clinical teams and the day-to-day interactions that reinforce our commitment to delivering quality care with compassion. Here, you will also find practical advice for championing your health and wellness. The Einstein Healthcare Network "Terms of Use" apply to all content on this blog.