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Ellis tech collecting well wishes for COVID-19 patients in Schenectady

Ellis tech collecting well wishes for COVID-19 patients in Schenectady

'I just cannot imagine the isolation and fear they have,' said Alicia Hottois
Ellis tech collecting well wishes for COVID-19 patients in Schenectady
Left: Alicia Hottois. Right: Cards sent to COVID-19 patients at Ellis Hospital.
Photographer: Photos provided

Coronavirus patients at Ellis Hospital are receiving some positive energy in the form of cards and gift baskets, thanks to the creativity of nursing staff and community members.

Unit support technician Alicia Hottois bought 96 cards and filled them with encouraging messages for the patients currently at Ellis who have coronavirus.

“They can’t have visitors at the hospital currently, so I just cannot imagine the isolation and fear they have,” said Hottois. “They can’t have that loved one next to them.”

After Hottois shared on Facebook about what she calls her #BePositive campaign last week, handmade cards started pouring in. She has more than a hundred already, and more are being left for pickup on front porches in the area.

Community members have been sending positive messages to COVID-19 patients at Ellis Hospital.PHOTO PROVIDED
Community members have been sending positive messages to COVID-19 patients at Ellis Hospital.

Hottois and her co-workers are also making “happy packs” for the patients — bags with activities like coloring books and crossword puzzles.

“One of the most inspiring pieces about this whole story is that it originated from bedside staff,” said Laura Heaney, Alicia’s nurse manager. “It wasn’t something that came down from hospital management, this really was something that they came up with and they really ran with it.”

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Hottois delivers the cards herself to the nurse manager of the COVID-19 unit. She’s been working for Ellis while she attends the hospital’s Bellinger School of Nursing and is set to graduate in May.

Ellis spokesman Phillip Schwartz said that while Ellis already has several COVID-19 patients, Ellis and other regional hospitals are preparing for an increase in the coming days and weeks.

“We all expect with this virus that we’ll be seeing more soon,” said Schwartz.

Those interested in sending cards or gift baskets to Ellis patients can contact Alicia via Facebook (Alicia Hottois).

She asks that volunteers make sure they wash their hands thoroughly before and after they craft.

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