letters | children’s hospital plans stir reaction

Place of solace would be lost to future generations

Bobby Campbell wheeled his daughter Caroline, who had foot surgery, through the Prouty Garden at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Bill Greene/Globe Staff

Bobby Campbell wheeled his daughter Caroline, who had foot surgery, through the Prouty Garden at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Thanks for your front-page Aug. 2 article on Boston Children’s Hospital’s pending plans to demolish Prouty Garden in order to construct a new building (“Expansion may oust a treasured retreat”). While only a small percentage of your readers probably have reason to even know of the garden’s existence, those who have spent time there have reason to understand its significance as a unique refuge both for children facing issues far too serious for their age and for their parents. We believe that Children’s Hospital and the city will be vastly poorer for its loss.

It is an unfortunate circumstance of this world that things of great value are sometimes sacrificed in the pursuit of what may be worthwhile goals. True value doesn’t always fit into conventional cost-benefit calculations. Your article provided illustrations of children and parents who have sought and found solace in Prouty Garden. The primary impact of losing it, however, will fall not on those who have spent time in the garden walking its paths as they sought relief for serious medical conditions, but rather on those children and parents in the future who find themselves in the midst of their own uncertainties and fears without Prouty Garden as a refuge.


The loss of the garden as a respite will also fall on Children’s Hospital’s staff, who are profoundly courageous in their willingness to repeatedly open themselves emotionally to care deeply for their patients. We wonder if even Olive Prouty could have fully comprehended the significance of the gift she gave to the hospital when she endowed the garden.

Gustave H. Murby

Jean O’Brien Murby


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