The Art Explorium in Tillett Gardens will open it’s studio doors Saturday to give the community a chance to stop by and share a photo, make a card, create a drawing, color a picture, make a collage, or create a painting to decorate the walls of Dr. Livingston’s new rehab room. There will be crayons, markers, paint, paper, glue, and collage materials available to use, and artist/owner Amy Gibbs will be there to help and encourage people of all ages.
In November 2017, physician Mark Livingston had to undergo unexpected heart surgery. His insurance did not cover the life-saving expenses it incurred or the income the family lost while Mark was unable to work during his recovery. Family friends set up a successful GoFundMe campaign, raising money to help with expenses.
A CT scan revealed that Mark had suffered a stroke during a second heart surgery in February and Livingston faces a long and uncertain path to a recovery that is not assured.
Livingston and his wife Kirstyn have lived on St. Thomas since 2006. Their children, Maya, age 11, and Owen, 9, were born on St. Thomas and attend school on the island.
Livingston is a family physician with a private practice. His wife provides individual and group therapy to adults and adolescents in private and community mental health, residential, and corrections settings.
They, like so many others, were left with their home uninhabitable after the devastating hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017.
The family made their new home in a travel trailer on their property for over a year. Their insurance did not protect the family from all of the financial impact they suffered. With Livingston’s medical emergency their financial safety net was decimated.
The Art Explorium will be open from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Materials were donated by the Art Explorium, and funded in part by a generous donation from local community member Leigh Goldman. Friends and patients of Livingston are encouraged to show their support through creativity and love, and bring a little piece of the Virgin Islands to his walls.
A care package will be sent to Dr. Livingston with all works created during the event.
Editor’s note: This story has been edited to clarify the sequence of events.