On Wednesday, Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital and Medical Center (JFL) held a ceremony to dedicate a memorial garden created and developed by community volunteers in March. Asa’s Garden, as the new garden has been affectionately named, was designed as a sacred space for parents who have lost children to be at peace and reflect. The garden is a part of JFL’s Perinatal Loss Center of Hope’s Infant and Children.
Asa’s Garden was dedicated by Project Promise, the non-profit organization that spearheaded the project and galvanized businesses, community volunteers and students from both its Caterpillar program and Howard University to develop it. The concept was designed by the group’s founder and president, Resa O’Reilly.
The memorial garden was dedicated in honor of 18-year-old Crucian native Asa O’Neal, who was a freshman at Howard University when he died suddenly last November. Some of his classmates who were visiting the island on spring break last month made up the volunteer pool. Asa’s mother Denise O’Neal, spoke about her son and how much he loved helping others. The garden was dedicated and blessed by Pastor Reginald Perry of Victorious Believers Ministries, inspirational songs were sung by local vocal artists, and JFL’s electrician Winsburt Jagrup played the acoustic guitar.
Juan F. Luis Hospital and Medical Center is getting additional sprucing up because of a wonderful collaboration of community groups and generous donors. Four beautiful new benches were delivered to the hospital’s front entrance on Thursday. New concrete had been previously laid by JFL’s maintenance department to convert an old flower bed into a much needed seating area.
The renovation was started by the Patient Family Council’s (PFC) fundraising efforts last fall. Kris and Whealan Massicott of ib Designs in Christiansted generously donated money for the bench. In discussing PFC asked My Brothers’ Workshop (MBW) to build the benches.
The entrance area will be dedicated to the late Nancy Martin, who founded the Patient Family Council and was responsible for raising funds for hospital improvements.