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Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital Helps to Spread Holiday Cheer

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The hospital is helping spread cheer for the holidays The hospital is helping spread cheer for the holidays
A former patient donated stuffed bears A former patient donated stuffed bears
Kids from a nearby elementary school decorated cards Kids from a nearby elementary school decorated cards
Many patients will spend the holidays in the hospital Many patients will spend the holidays in the hospital
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital hopes to brighten the days of patients who have to spend the Christmas holiday in the hospital's care.

Hospital workers hope to bring smiles to the faces of patients who can’t be home with their families this Christmas through small, compassionate gestures.

“We try to make them feel special during the holidays,” says Amy Ferguson, the manager of patient services at the hospital.

This holiday season, employees at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital in Albemarle County are showing their patients that they not only care for them, but they also care about them.

“To go into a room and show that we care about them, that means a lot,” says Ferguson.

The staff is preparing to give patients gifts on Christmas in hopes of brightening their day during a tough time to be in the hospital.

“We give them a carnation and a card from the kids from the elementary school,” says Ferguson. “We like them to feel special on that day if they can’t be at home with their families."

Many patients will spend the holiday apart from their family gatherings, so workers hope to fill that void with some love of their own.

“I feel wonderful when I can be able to give someone something that they can’t receive right now, especially not being able to be with their families and that breaks a lot of hearts that they can’t be with their families,” says Ferguson.

Along with the Christmas cards and flowers, the hospital will hand out stuffed bears donated by a former patient.

These special toys will be given to a number of patients described as a "child at heart.”

“These bears were donated to Martha Jefferson by a very grateful patient of Dr. Ansa and his team at our ICU unit, and the patient hand-knitted the sweaters for our bears and they’re for our special patients - anybody that would benefit from having a wonderful bear,” says Heather Stewart, who works in guest services at the hospital.

Other medical centers in the area will also be doing their part to spread holiday cheer. The University of Virginia Children's Hospital will be helping children celebrate the season with gifts and a visit from Santa on Monday.

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