A Huntsville woman is trying to raise $25,000 to help patients at the Huntsville Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) feel less isolated.
Longtime resident Frances Botham is fundraising on behalf of the Huntsville Hospital Foundation, to help them purchase five televisions and five landline telephones for the ICU.
“Any little amount is appreciated, because it may take time to raise the money, but I think it’s a good cause,” says Botham.
Botham says she started the campaign after several stints in and out of the ICU for heart-related issues over the past year. She says while she was fortunate enough to have loved ones come to visit, she knows many people don’t share that luxury, and nurses can’t interact with patients 24/7.
“There are a lot of people that don’t have visitors at all. Don’t have family available to come and visit them,” says Botham. “And they lie there for hours on end with nothing to divert their attention.”
According to Botham, keeping your mind engaged is an important part of recovering from whatever landed you in the ICU. While books are a great way to stay engaged, she says sitting or propping up to read can be quite physically taxing on patients in intensive care.
“It’s a vital part of recovery, because you [otherwise] lie there for hours on end, and you just stare at the wall. It doesn’t seem conducive,” says Botham. “A television is really a vital part because it gets your mind occupied. It makes an hour go by and you don’t realize it.”
Botham says she is unfamiliar with online fundraising but has managed to set up an online donation page, and asks people to help get the word out.
“It’s going to take a while, I realize that it’s a large fundraiser for this community,” says Botham. “We’re asked for so many donations to so many areas and people get spread thin, so I hope they realize this is an important cause.”