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Hospital Expansion Threatens Beloved Patient Garden

   May 18, 2016

The $1 billion proposed expansion includes plans for an 11-story, 575,000-square-foot building that would boost the patient experience by eliminating all of the hospital's current double-bed rooms, enhancing privacy, sleeping spaces, and showers.

The new space would also feature more operating rooms, a NICU, a pediatric heart center, and a rooftop garden.

Growing Opposition

While the need for expansion is evident, many believe the hospital shouldn't raze the garden to do so.

In April, a group advocating to save the Prouty Garden sued the hospital, alleged that the hospital had illegally begun construction ahead of receiving Department of Public Health approval.

A judge denied to grant an injunction to stop the project, but the case remains open, meaning the judge could reconsider the ruling if the group provides further evidence.

"There are people like me who walk through the doors of Children's Hospital every day and are going to hear something they don't want to hear," said Gus Murby, a supporter whose 17-year-old son died in the garden in 2007, after battling leukemia.

"If Prouty Garden is not here for them," said Murby, "it's going to be a much darker experience."

Murby, who is a plaintiff in the lawsuit, and other garden supporters have launched an aggressive public awareness campaign. So far, the "Preserve Prouty Garden" petition on has acquired more than 16,000 signatures, and more than 500 people have donated a total of $77,000 to the Save the Prouty Garden GoFundMe campaign.

Marianne Aiello is a contributing writer at HealthLeaders Media.

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