Eleanor Love, a doctor, is honoring both her profession and last name. The medical student has discovered a method to make her patients happy and give old wedding decorations a new purpose.
Introducing The Simple Sunflower, the initiative Eleanor started at the VCU School of Medicine. It takes only one basic step: asking wedding venues and other events to donate their leftover flowers for patient bouquets.
Since the start of the endeavor, the 27-year-old has been to numerous weddings. Eleanor had no acquaintance with the participants in the activities, but she always had one thought in her head: to repurpose.
The Richmond, Virginia, area’s once-thought-to-be-discarded flowers now serve a second purpose: cheering up hospital patients. Eleanor understands that patients can experience loneliness as a healthcare professional.
And that occasionally all you need to make yourself smile is a bouquet of flowers. Eleanor had experience working in a flower store prior to beginning medical school.
Here, she learned that plants and flowers can aid in a patient’s recuperation. Through the floral arrangement, Eleanor and The Simple Sunflower initiative shed fresh light on palliative care.
Eleanor’s flowers were given to Connie Melzers, a 68-year-old patient, who reported that she sobbed and cried. “When you’re there for six to eight weeks, it’s a big deal.” Eleanor describes the experience thus: “You connect with [patients] on a different level.”