Nfld. & Labrador

Mother's death inspires effort to buy more 'cuddle beds' for Gander hospital

The Power of Pink fundraiser will help Megan Brown and her family buy a cuddle bed for palliative care patients.

Beds will help palliative care patients gain comfort from loved ones

Megan Brown and her family started The Power of Pink, after her mother Lisa Brown died of breast cancer on February 9. (Melissa Tobin/CBC)

Megan Brown and her family are dealing with the loss of a mother, wife and friend by giving back. 

The family has started The Power of Pink, a charity to raise money for a cuddle bed for James Paton Memorial Hospital in Gander. 

Lisa Brown died of metastatic breast cancer on on February 9, 2017 at the age of 49. (Facebook )

Lisa Brown died of breast cancer on on February 9, 2017. She was 49 year old. 

Her daughter, Megan Brown, says while the loss is difficult, the family wanted say thanks to those who helped her mother in her last days. 

"It was a very, very hard time for my family, but the doctors and the nurses at the hospital were absolutely amazing", said Brown.

Megan Brown talks about The Power of Pink

6 years ago
Duration 2:06
Megan Brown, of Gander, talks about The Power of Pink, a fundraiser aimed at raising money for a cuddle bed at James Paton Memorial Hospital in Gander. The charity was started in memory of her mother, Lisa Brown, who died of breast cancer February 9, 2017.

"The nurses came in, they had said 'We have this thing called a cuddle bed'. We never even knew it existed," said Brown.

"There was many times my dad said 'If the hospital bed was bigger, I would crawl up there right next to her.'"

But the hospital only has a couple of the special beds, so the nurses had to check. When the family found out they could get one, there were tears.

"My parents have been together 26 years. My dad thinking, 'I'll never be able to experience her next to me anymore. Like, this is the end. But once we got the cuddle bed, it was perfect."

It was the biggest, most genuine smile we'd seen in days- Megan Brown

The news gave her mother a last moment of hope too. 

"I said 'They're getting you a cuddle bed so daddy can sleep next to you'. It was the biggest, most genuine smile we'd seen in days. She was just thrilled. She ate her supper that night. She was herself, her personality was there. It was just amazing."

Megan Brown says the cuddle bed at James Paton Memorial Hospital gave her family the closure they needed when her mother Lisa Brown was dying of breast cancer. (Facebook )

The closure the cuddle bed gave to her family, especially her dad, was immeasurable, she said. 

"When my father slept there that night, he told me, he said 'You know, she cuddled into me, she held my arm'. We were holding her hand of course, but I mean, she wasn't there because of the pain medication. So it was more us then her. But dad said, 'I wasn't me, it was all her'. 

Giving joy to others

The Browns wanted to make sure other families could experience the same comfort at a terrible time. 

"When my mom passed, we knew they [James Paton Memorial Hospital] only have a couple of cuddle beds. We really thought, maybe if we can raise the money for one, maybe two cuddle beds, it would just make the world of a difference to those people in their last moments".

The loss of their mother comes at a time when Megan Brown is planning a wedding for May and her sister Ashley is due to have her first child in July. 

"My mom was so strong ... We really wanted to keep her name going. If we were to donate in her name, or fundraise in her name, it's still her way of giving joy to those who don't have anything to be happy for". 

In just five days of starting The Power of Pink GoFundMe page, the family had raised $3,466 of its $10,000 goal. 

With files from The Central Morning Show