Sunflower: symbol of remembrance

There’s always that one patient who stands out – this one loved sunflowers.

Helen Keller is quoted as saying: “Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow. It’s what sunflowers do.”

Charge Nurse Samantha Phelps can relate to that quote. There was a patient named “Logan” who had his first transplant when he was a 2-years-old. He had a second transplant three decades later and was hospitalized at IU Health for five months. He passed on June 29, 2018.

Phelps still wears a wristband with the words: #LoganStrong. In her second year as a nurse at IU Health, Phelps said: “Logan was one of those patients you’ll always remember. Even on his bad days he was a kind soul with a big heart. He loved to sing old country music.”

And Logan loved sunflowers. His whole hospital room was decorated in sunflowers.

“He said he like sunflowers because they always looked towards the sun, the brightest view,” said Phelps. On the recent anniversary of Logan’s passing, his family sent bouquets of sunflowers to the Transplant Intensive Care Unit. One card was signed: “We will always remember the loving care for Logan.”

Phelps even created her own arrangement – a long-stemmed sunflower standing alone in a bedside urinal.

“I think Logan would find the humor. He was always so positive,” said Phelps. “One of the best things about nursing is getting to connect with my patients and their families on bad days and knowing I help them just a little bit.”

— By T.J. Banes, Journalist, IU Health.
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