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Patient's world gets renovation

Volunteers spruce up bedridden woman's room at Western Maryland Center

Volunteers spruce up bedridden woman's room at Western Maryland Center

August 11, 2002|by ANDREA ROWLAND

andrear@herald-mail.com

Cheryl Lucado knew her world needed a renovation. And she knew she couldn't do it alone.

Since she was hit by a car 17 years ago, Lucado has spent most of her life in a bed in a room at Western Maryland Hospital Center in Hagerstown. She can use only the muscles in her face, moving her eyes to appraise her porcelain angel collection and see the photo of her son and grandson and watch the television shows she changes using her chin and a remote control.

When Lucado decided last November that her four-walled world needed a facelift to raise her spirits, she asked those around her for help. And she got it.

"This is my domain and I needed a change," said Lucado, 43. "I got tired of the way the room looked."

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She told the Rev. Steve Wagoner of Salem Reformed Church she would like to replace the metal bracket used to mount her television on the wall with an entertainment center in which she could store her TV, video tapes and compact discs.

Wagoner asked church member Ralph Weaver if he would build the entertainment center after buying needed materials with money from the church's good Samaritan fund, Weaver said. He said the church fund ended up paying for paint and carpentry materials for the project, which was completed in late July.

To Lucado's specifications, Weaver said, he built an entertainment center, dresser and wall shelves to house her angel collection and marble plaques of the Ten Commandments.

"I designed everything," Lucado said. "I'm very picky."

Program Director Phares Bitikofer and respiratory therapist Denver Muir covered the room's old dusky pink walls with fresh coats of the lavender paint that Lucado chose.

"She knew the exact number of the paint color and she told me to go to Sherwin Williams to get it," Weaver said. "I don't know how she knew that. She's amazing."

Respiratory therapist Peggy Everly stenciled sage-colored vines and gold butterflies around the room as Lucado requested, she said.

"I like being involved with the patients - doing things that make them happy," Everly said.

Lucado said she is thrilled with the results.

"It's so peaceful," she said. "I really like it."

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