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Kentucky hospital provides inspiration for radiation patients through ceiling tiles

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Posted at 8:07 AM, Apr 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-23 11:21:51-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Traci Scott was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer in May of 2020.

"Just boom, there it is. It hit me like a ton of bricks," Scott said.

The 53-year-old realtor has undergone 11 rounds of chemotherapy and 30 rounds of radiation at CHI St. Joseph Health Cancer Care Center in Lexington, Kentucky.

"I was there every day except for Saturdays and Sundays," Scott said.

Anyone who has gone through radiation knows it can be a long, lonely, and sterile experience. Susie Collier, manager of the radiation and oncology department, said it is their mission to make it as comforting as possible.

Collier said, "A lot of the patients do feel lonely and say, 'I wish you could stay in here with me.'"

A co-worker suggested she paint the ceiling tiles above the area where the patients lay as they receive the radiation, and the effects were felt immediately.

"As soon as they come in the room, they were like, 'That's amazing.' It at least gives you something to look at, and the first one that we did said faith, hope and love," Collier explained.

The tiles are covered with Bible verses, inspirational quotes and soothing colors, and Collier said a day does not go by that someone does not say the tiles have really helped them.

"Just that joy it gives them or that hope or that comfort just means the world to me," Collier said.

That's just the effect the tiles had on Traci Scott. She said that touch of kindness along with the humanity of the staff helped her through some of her toughest times.

"It gives you a calmness like everything's going to be fine, everything's going to be okay, " Scott said. "I just loved it. I told them it's wonderful."

Now cancer-free with radiation behind her, Scott said if she had to go through this journey, she is thankful the path led through St. Joseph's. Proof that those little things can make a world of difference.

Scott said, "I'm glad that God drifted me in their direction."

Traci Scott urges men and women to go to their yearly checkups and get a mammogram. She said it could save a life.

This story was originally published by Claire Crouch at WLEX.