Last month, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin opened the Noel Family Healing Garden. Thanks to a generous contribution from John and Patty Noel, our patient families and staff now have an outdoor space where they can escape, take a break and regroup.

The Noel Family Healing Garden is more than just a beautiful outdoor space. In fact, studies show that being exposed to peaceful, outdoor areas such as this one can help our patients heal.

The garden also provides a temporary respite for our families and staff. It is designed for the mother who needs to sit alone with a book for a few moments of peace, the nurse who needs to gather his thoughts after a difficult day in the Emergency Department and for the father whose child has just been diagnosed with a heart defect. This is a place of peace.

No leaf went unturned in the planning of the Healing Garden. The plants, trees and shrubs won’t attract the insects that could hurt our patients. A life-sized statue of dancing children serves as the garden’s centerpiece. To help create a peaceful ambiance, we’re piping calming music into the area. And, just for weeks like this one, we have a larger-than-life canopy to help our families escape from the unforgiving Wisconsin summer sun.

Without a doubt, the Noel Family Healing Garden provides an environment of support. This place was created with the goal of providing support and soothe the hurt. It is a gift that will keep on giving, changing and growing for years to come. In essence, this is what we all do – keep moving forward in hope.

After all, where there is hope, there is healing.

-Maggie Butterfield, MS, director of Patient Amenities and Family Services at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

John and Patty Noel

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