A Touch of Kindness

You helped brighten the lives of people receiving care at St. Joseph’s by joining the Season of Celebration.
Don and Wendy Smith
Don and Wendy Smith

Don and Wendy Smith know a thing or two about comforting people through difficult times. As owner and president of Smith’s Funeral Homes, Don has spent his career helping families navigate grief and caring for them as they say goodbye to a loved one.

He has also been on the receiving end of care when he developed recurrent kidney stones. Lithotripsy gave him some pain relief – but a blockage resulted in the loss of his right kidney. He was referred to Dr. Hassan Razvi, urologist at St. Joseph’s, and started a new protocol to keep his remaining kidney and avoid dialysis. Don now travels from Burlington to St. Joseph’s every four months for a stent placement to help the flow to his bladder.

At every visit, one of the nurses offers him a warm blanket to help him relax. Don says the kindness he receives at St. Joseph’s is key to getting through his procedures.

“Just like a funeral home, no one wants to go to a hospital until they have to. So anything you can do to make the experience a little more comfortable is important,” he says.

When the Smiths received a letter about the 2023 Season of Celebration campaign, they knew the perfect way to continue giving back. They generously purchased a blanket warmer to support others receiving care at St. Joseph’s. Warm blankets benefit patients in body, mind and spirit. They’re vital for regulating someone’s core body temperature before and after surgery to prevent hypothermia, and they’re used after all types of procedures to help people feel calm.

“Not only are they physically comforting, they’re psychologically comforting,” says Don.

The Smiths weren’t alone in their support of care, comfort and connection this Season of Celebration. More than 2,000 donors donated more than $780,000 to ensure that everyone at St. Joseph’s receives compassionate care today and into the future. As the demand for health care rises, this support will immediately have an impact and be used to purchase much-needed items like lift slings, personal care and comfort items and TVs for waiting rooms.

Today, Don is grateful for the privilege to give back and looking forward to what the future brings.

“Every day is a blessing and a gift,” he says.

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