Award-winning garden at Lindsay’s Ross Memorial Hospital honours late emergency department nurse

Stacie Vokins, who worked at the hospital for more than 20 years, passed away in November 2019 at the age of 42

Theresa Connell and Marlene Dawson of Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay, two colleagues of late emergency department nurse Stacie Vokins, stand in the garden they dedicated to the memory of Vokins (shown in the picture frame), a 20-year employee of the hospital who passed away in November 2019. The garden, which includes heart sculptures by local artist Christina Handley, won the hospital's annual "Garden Cup". (Photo courtesy of Ross Memorial Hospital)
Theresa Connell and Marlene Dawson of Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay, two colleagues of late emergency department nurse Stacie Vokins, stand in the garden they dedicated to the memory of Vokins (shown in the picture frame), a 20-year employee of the hospital who passed away in November 2019. The garden, which includes heart sculptures by local artist Christina Handley, won the hospital's annual "Garden Cup". (Photo courtesy of Ross Memorial Hospital)

An award-winning garden at Ross Memorial Hospital has been dedicated to Stacie Vokins, a late emergency department nurse at the Lindsay hospital.

Each year, departments at the hospital adopt and beautify garden spaces around the property to compete for the annual “Garden Cup”.

This year, the emergency department chose to dedicate their garden space to Vokins, a registered practical nurse who mainly worked in the emergency department for more than 20 years. She passed away at Ross Memorial Hospital last November at the age of 42, after being diagnosed with cancer in January 2019, leaving behind her husband and two sons.

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Theresa Connell and Marlene Dawson, two of Vokins’ colleagues in the emergency department, coordinated with staff, physicians, community partners and Votkins’ family to create the memorial garden, which includes hostas and other flowers from Vokins’ own garden. The garden won this year’s Garden Cup.

“We incorporated purple flowers, because that was Stacie’s favourite colour, and yellow flowers, for remembrance,” Connell says. “The flowers from Stacie’s garden line both sides of the pathway as you walk in, like a hug from Stacie.”

Dawson says Vokins was “very family oriented, loved sports and was very competitive, so she would have loved that we worked together with her family, and that we won the competition.”

The team plans to keep the garden beautiful for many years to come.

“This isn’t just where we work,” Connell says. “This is our family.”

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