Comforting others on end-of-life journeys isn’t a role Meghan Couture’s loved ones ever imagined they’d be in. Sad circumstance led to the legacy they’ve created to honor Meghan’s life, and it’s already bringing great warmth and solace to families walking the same solemn path they walked just last year.
Meghan, a Barre native and Spaulding High School graduate, succumbed to a rare cancer at age 20. Recalling the support family and friends received in Meghan’s last days at CVMC, her mom Deb Caruso sought to comfort others.
“During Meg’s stay in (CVMC’s palliative care) Sun Room (from March to May 2017), she never stayed a night alone,” Deb says. “Between our family and friends, someone was always there supporting Meghan. And CVMC were always there to support us. Blankets, extra chairs, comfort carts and anything else kept us going day in and day out while caring for Meghan. This is our hope with offering the Meghan Comfort Bags.”
The bags are lovingly filled with toiletries and other essentials to make overnight and longer-term hospital stays more restful for loved ones. They crystallize the kind of attentive care Meghan would’ve delivered to folks in need and are gifted to CVMC’s Nursing and Palliative and Spiritual Care teams for distribution.
“Meghan was an amazingly compassionate and kind young lady,” Deb said. “She never had a mean word about anyone and always smiled no matter the circumstances. Meghan was always concerned about others’ comfort.”
Meghan hoped to be a kindergarten teacher one day.
At a recent silent auction, titled “Painting for a Purpose, $5,654 was raised to support the comfort bag project. More than 50 paintings of all sizes, colors and prices, created by Meghan’s aunt, Cathy Systo, were offered, with the majority snapped up early in the day through a “buy now” option allowing shoppers to take home their favorites on the spot.
To continue supporting Meghan’s Comfort Bags, donations may be sent supporting CVMC Palliative and Spiritual Care in Meghan’s honor to:
Office of Development
Central Vermont Medical Center
P.O. Box 547
Barre, VT 05647