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Colourful Bowmanville Hospital rock garden inspiring health-care workers during coronavirus pandemic

Bowmanville Hospital rock garden inspiring health care workers
WATCH: At Bowmanville Hospital, a colourful rock garden has appeared in hopes of lifting spirits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Across the country, Canadians are finding ways to show their appreciation for first responders and health-care workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

At Bowmanville Hospital, a colourful rock garden has appeared in hopes of lifting spirits.

Ella and Adele Keeler painted rocks as part of a project their mom Jennifer came up with to help brighten her day while she’s at work.

“They went out back, they got several rocks and they started painting,” said Jennifer Keeler, a registered nurse with Lakeridge Health Bowmanville.

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Keeler works at the Bowmanville Hospital as an ER nurse.

“I did see people posting inspirational messages and posters to different hospitals and long-term care facilities and I saw some people had painted rocks, so I thought what would be amazing is to spruce up and colour up our front drab garden right now because it’s very brown and sad,” she said.

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Days after putting out a challenge to the community, the rock garden is now filled with vibrant colours.

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Ella and Adele added their contributions to the display.

Lethbridge police sound sirens to show support for health-care workers
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“At a time where there’s a lot of angst and unnerving feelings, the staff come out and we talk about the happiness that the rocks bring us and the messages and the support from the community,” said Keeler.

Laura Dewar brought her daughters so they could show their support to the health-care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic as well.

“We made some ringette rocks,” she said.

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“It’s important to teach our children that there’s lots of people out there that are doing everything that they can and I think it makes it a good experience for the kids that it’s something they can contribute in a time where they might feel helpless.”

Dewar says she feels fortunate she gets to be at home with her kids, so dropping off some rocks is the least she can do.

“It warms your heart,” said Dewar.

Coronavirus outbreak: Outpouring of appreciation for health care workers
Coronavirus outbreak: Outpouring of appreciation for health care workers

As for Keeler, she was attending school to become a nurse and working as a personal support worker during the SARS outbreak.

“I didn’t think I would ever have to work through it again on the front lines in emerg but we’re doing it again and we’re very nervous … not knowing what’s happening,” said Keeler.

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While the rocks help inspire the health-care workers at the Bowmanville Hospital, Keeler hopes the initiative spreads to other front-line workers at facilities across the region.