Ceremony honors hospice patients

Published 9:42 am Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Johnnie Mae Hatten, director of Comfort Care Hospice in Greenville, releases balloons as part of a ceremony held at Confederate Park to honor patients Comfort Care Hospice has served during the past eight years. (Advocate Staff/Andy Brown)

Nearly 300 purple balloons floated high above Confederate Park late Monday afternoon.

Each of the 299 balloons represented a patient that Comfort Care Hospice of Greenville has cared for during its eight years in the Camellia City.

“We looked back over how many patients that we have served that have died over the last eight years, and we felt like we needed to do something special,” Dana Casey, Comfort Care Hospice Consultant said.

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Each year, Comfort Care Hospice holds a candle lighting ceremony for the patients it has lost during the past year. This year, in addition to remembering the patients that have passed way in the last year, the group also wanted to remember the patients it has lost during the past eight years.

Several family members who have lost loved ones this past year were on hand for the ceremony and had the opportunity to write names or messages on the balloons before releasing them.

Greenville Mayor Dexter McLendon was also on hand for the ceremony.

Prior to the balloon release, family members of patients who have passed away in the last year were invited to stop by Comfort Care Hospice’s office to participate in the candle lighting ceremony. Family members were also presented with an ornament in memory of their loved one.