The patient who made wooden gifts: A man who was hospitalized due to kidney failure has been compared to the real-life Mr. Geppetto for his heartfelt gesture of creating personalized wooden gifts for the 50 staff members who aided in his recovery.
Campbell McDonald, a 74-year-old carpenter and cabinet maker from Whitecross, near Linlithgow, was admitted to Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) in Glasgow in January. He was suffering from a severe infection resulting from cellulitis.
Initially taken to Forth Valley Hospital in Larbert, he was later transferred to QEUH for specialized care after the severity of his condition became apparent.
“I had sepsis, and after being rushed to QEUH, they discovered my kidney problems, so I underwent dialysis,” shared Mr. MacDonald.
During his four-week stay in the kidney ward, Mr. MacDonald developed a bond with the hospital staff and wanted to express his gratitude. He said, “I just wanted to thank them all. They fixed my leg and restored my kidney function. Their contribution to my recovery was so significant that I felt compelled to do something.”
Upon being discharged, Mr. MacDonald diligently crafted wooden pieces as unique tokens of friendship, appreciation, and love for the 50 employees he encountered during his hospitalization. Each keepsake was thoughtfully created to align with the recipient’s personality and interests.
“I have stories for each of them,” he remarked. “In fact, I took pictures of all the staff members to help me remember them, marking their names as I progressed.”
“Engaging in this creative process truly aided my recovery, and the satisfaction of doing something, no matter how small, for the staff who assisted me was heartwarming,” Mr. MacDonald shared.
Reflecting on the staff’s reactions upon receiving the personalized gifts, Mr. MacDonald continued, “They didn’t say much, just ‘thank you.’ It was as if they were overwhelmed with gratitude.”
“I don’t think all the staff in that hospital, or in the entire NHS for that matter, truly comprehend how they positively impact people’s lives through their care and kindness,” he added.
Alison McKechnie, QEUH Renal Senior Nurse, was on duty when Mr. MacDonald presented the gifts. She expressed her appreciation, saying, “All I can say is thank you. The staff were genuinely surprised and delighted. Receiving a gift is always special, but considering Campbell’s extended stay and his familiarity with the staff, it made it even more extraordinary, knowing the thought and effort he invested.”