Posted on: December 15, 2014
A local family is helping to bring a little holiday cheer to patients at Northside Hospital this year, all in memory of a wife and mother they loved and lost.
Teresa “T” Smith, of Alpharetta, lost her 17-year battle with cancer on March 19, 2014. According to her husband, Matt, T was a loving wife, a wonderful mother to their two children, Madi and Hunter, and an angel to many in their community.
“T fought her cancer with tremendous grace, courage and faith,” Matt said. “There are countless stories and instances where T was an angel, where she was the one giving to others despite all of the difficulties she faced.”
Throughout T’s illness, the Smith family received tremendous support from their neighbors, friends and fellow church members, who all wanted to show their love. An angel fund was created to help with any additional expenses the family might have, but Matt was reluctant to use the money.
“I didn’t feel like we needed it; we already had received so much,” he said.
It was T who encouraged Matt to accept the help. After she passed away, Matt decided to use the angel fund to pay it forward. He established “T’s Angels,” a non-profit organization that shares T's story through projects that support others facing difficult obstacles, especially terminal illnesses. The group’s first project: decorating Northside Hospital’s 4 Central medical/surgical unit for the holidays, to lift the spirits of those who have to be away from home at this time of year.
Over the years, T made many trips to Northside Hospital for treatment. Her last visit kept her in the hospital’s 4 Central unit from Thanksgiving Day 2013 through New Year’s. Since she was unable to go home for the holidays, Matt, Madi and Hunter hung Christmas lights and other decorations in T’s room.
“The lights and atmosphere warmed the heart of not only T, but all who entered or passed by her room,” said Matt.
So, on Sunday, Nov. 30, the Smiths and their “army” of angels” descended on Northside’s fourth floor to decorate the hallways, nurses’ station and anything else they could.“The Smith family coming back and decorating our unit for the holidays was very thoughtful and meaningful to all of us,” said Kristen Pinilla, RN, clinical supervisor, Northside Hospital’s 4 Central unit. “As healthcare professionals, we strive to deliver the best care to our patients and their families; knowing that we were successful in doing this for the Smiths’ is something we will always remember.”
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