Eau Claire (WQOW)- Thousands of people across the Chippewa Valley are celebrating Easter with friends and family at church, others are stuck recovering in hospitals.
“I meet patients when they’re in a difficult point in their lives,” said Sacred Heart Rehab Nurse Brooke Yeske. “It’s hard being in the hospital. Nobody plans on being in the hospital and certainly during the holidays it’s more difficult being away from loved ones. So it’s difficult to keep spirits up.”
“It’s not where I want to be,” said patient Roman Swan. “I want to be at home with my kids, but I can’t do that so they come and see me. I don’t want to be here.”
While the hospital isn’t the ideal place to celebrate Easter, staff at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital make sure their patients Easter is complete with mass.
Not all of the patients are able to make it downstairs to the chapel, so they’re able to watch the service in their rooms on TV.
“Me and [my wife], we don’t go to church anymore,” Swan said. “We stay home and go to church, right there on the television, because I can’t climb the stairs to get into the church and that’s the reason I don’t go.”
Mass on the television isn’t the only thing the hospital offers.
“All of the patients are free to have communion,” Yeske said. “We have our pastoral care make their way up through the different units, and the patients will be able to have communion and that’s really great too.”
Yeske said being able to provide communion and mass in their rooms is important because not all of them are able to get around easily.
“Being able to offer mass on Easter Sunday is incredibly important,” Yeske said. “We’ve got a lot of elderly people here who have their strong catholic values and it’s really important to be able to celebrate that and be able to watch our pastoral care go over mass.”
Yeske said a lot of families choose to spend Easter at the hospital with their loved ones and watch the service on TV. She said along with mass, all of the patients at the hospital will get a special Easter dinner Sunday.