Kate and Erik Krull started planning their daughter’s funeral – the dress
Lucy would wear, the music, the scripture. It seemed that Lucy was losing her battle with brain and spine cancer.
“We were watching Lucy die. For seven days, we passed her back and forth. Each time, we thought it might be the last time we held her,” Erik said.
They spent 20 months in and out of multiple hospitals and in what they thought were Lucy’s last days, Le Bonheur Neurosurgeon Frederick Boop, MD, encouraged the Krulls to take her outside for some fresh air.
“Get that baby outside,” he said.
Erik pushed a wheelchair holding his wife and daughter along Memphis’ busiest street. Lucy, then 8, had dropped to just 26 pounds.
“We were outside, but it was June in Memphis on the asphalt,” Erik remembers.
The next day, as her sister stroked her hair, Lucy woke up. After seven days in a coma, Lucy looked up, “Ella,” she said, “That’s enough.”
Soon after, Lucy made a miraculous recovery. But in the years that followed, the Krulls remembered that moment outside and wanted to give other families the gift of outdoor space in a busy medical district.
The dream of the Le Bonheur Green outdoor space started to take shape. Through their Go Lucy Go Foundation, the Krulls made a gift to the hospital to start the visioning process.
Le Bonheur Art Director Linda Hill was on board from day one. Hill, who led efforts to bring art to the new hospital in 2010, had long hoped that one day children and families could experience the therapeutic properties of nature on the hospital’s campus.
Le Bonheur Green is just the latest example of the responsibility Le Bonheur feels for its patients and their families. It is not enough to provide excellent medical care. They believe in comfort and healing beyond the illness or injury and it extends to the families. Every Memphian should be proud of our hospital and the global reputation it has earned.
“When children can experience the sights and sounds of nature, they are reminded of their normal life outside the hospital. Le Bonheur Green will be a place families can escape the emotional challenges of the hospital and feel renewed,” Hill said.
This fall, Le Bonheur will break ground on Le Bonheur Green, an interactive outdoor space for children and families. Le Bonheur Green will fill the nearly 2-acre lawn facing Adams Ave. The project was designed by Blair Parker Design, landscape architecture, and Krull, through his family business Rose Construction, will serve as a contractor.
TruGreen is proud to support Le Bonheur Green and its mission to provide patients and their families greater access to the outdoors. We believe the Green will serve as a place where children not only experience healing benefits, but also find renewed hope.
Blair Parker said it was rewarding to translate the passion his team observed at Le Bonheur into beautiful and functional green space.
“When we walked in the hospital for the first time it was pretty evident this facility was built for children. You just look at the nooks and crannies,” Parker said. “Everyone we met at Le Bonheur is A1-focused on the well-being of the children and families. That’s what we needed to do outdoors – create a space that reflects that passion,” Parker said.
The Green includes a prayer labyrinth and meditation garden for quiet reflection. A walking path in the shape of the heart is a nod to the Le Bonheur heart. A front-porch gathering space for families will feel like home. An open green in the middle leaves space for children to run or play Frisbee – and equally as important for other Le Bonheur traditions – Santa Claus and Easter Bunny’s arrival by helicopter.
“Le Bonheur is home for us … from the moment we walked in the doors in 2011,” Krull said. “It’s so fulfilling to do something that allows us to meet a need we noticed when we were in the hospital.”
Help transform the hospital's front lawn into a restorative garden for Le Bonheur patients and families. Your gift of any size will cultivate healing.
Giving opportunities include donating in honor or memory of a loved one, celebrating milestones of your life with a gift, honoring a doctor, nurse or caregiver or setting up a planned gift to sustain the garden for generations to come.Give to the garden
Le Bonheur Children's Hospital depends on the generosity of friends like you to help us serve 250,000 children each year, regardless of their family’s ability to pay. Every gift helps us improve the lives of children.Donate Now