Art murals at Peterborough Regional Health Centre spark positive memories for patients – Peterborough

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For the last three years, Terrence Edwin Staples has been a patient at the Peterborough Regional Health Centre’s C3 inpatient unit. Staples used to sing with his father growing up on the family farm — a memory triggered by a new mural painted on the wall in his hospital unit.

“It cheers you up to see all these paintings. When my daughter came from Montreal today to visit me, it was really something,” said Staples.

The Art School of Peterborough executive director Jenni Johnston says that was the goal.


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“I saw the difference from when it was just drawings on the wall to, as soon as the paint hit, patients were more vocal with us. They loved the flowers, but as soon as we painted the farmland, we got stories about what happened in their past, where they grew up. It was very evident that it was making a difference instantaneously,” said Johnston.

The painting started in mid-October and wrapped up at the end of November. Sixteen art students volunteered for the project, which took 400 hours to complete.

“We decided to treat each hallway with a different theme so the first, entering into the unit, we have flowers; it’s a nice kind of feel walking through the garden. We then went onto the other hallway, taking on a farm. We also incorporated the city,” explained Johnston.


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Andrew Dodgson, unit manager of the C3 inpatient unit, says the murals help ground and relax patients, especially those who have dementia.

“People who live in a world of dementia, it gets very narrow so if you’re walking down a hallway that is all one colour or very bland, there is no interaction,” explained Dodgson. “They don’t see themselves belonging. When they enter an area and see fields or trees or shops, all of a sudden they have something to relate to. They get more relaxed, not pacing around.”

For Staples, the colourful murals have triggered happy memories.

“I think the staff and the workers here do a tremendous job, and they give you first-class care,” said Staples.

Based on the success of this project, the hospital says it’s hoping to partner with the Art School of Peterborough again in the near future.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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‘I’ve seen things that humans shouldn’t see’: 99-year-old Calgary veteran shares WWII memories flying over Europe

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Jack Hilton is well aware he has beat the odds.

As a Typhoon fighter pilot, Hilton did more than 100 operations flights across Europe during the Second World War, including D-Day.

“In 28 days, I flew 28 times and 28 times you take off and land, you’re pushing your luck,” Hilton recalled on Sunday.

He said every time he took to the air, a quarter of men who went up, didn’t return.

“I went over to France with 28 pilots,” Hilton said of the mission overall. “Eight of us came home to Canada. I’ve seen things that humans shouldn’t see.”

As a Typhoon fighter pilot, Jack Hilton did more than 100 operations flights across Europe during the Second World War.

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Hilton was a guest at the Hangar Flight Museum’s Remembrance Day ceremony, sharing his personal stories despite the painful details. During the war, he survived being shot down, only to be sent up the next day. He said it became normal to see roommates drop from the sky.

“It’s upsetting,” Hilton said. “You can’t let it stop you because you’ve got a job to do. You get a new guy and he flies along with you and he disappears in flames and smoke but you can’t do anything about it.”


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To help deal with the horrors he witnessed, Hilton wrote a book about his experiences called “The Saga of a Canadian Typhoon Fighter Pilot.”

In it, he recalls being offered his last rites by a priest who witnessed his plane crash.

Jack Hilton wrote a book about his experiences called “The Saga of a Canadian Typhoon Fighter Pilot.”

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Despite being surrounded by thankful admirers at the Remembrance Day ceremony, Hilton remains humble.

“It’s very touching and they treat me so well,” he said. “They say you’re a hero but I said, ‘No, I’m not a hero, I’m just a survivor.’ Other people are heroes who died.

“You are flying with a man beside you who is your roommate probably and all of a sudden, one man will explode and he would disappear. You go back and you pack up his gear and send it home.”

As a Typhoon fighter pilot, Jack Hilton did more than 100 operations flights across Europe during the Second World War.

Global News

He contemplated the different world young people are living in now compared to when he joined the air force.

“Twenty-year-olds now are living with mom and dad, and playing video games. We were flying the stupid airplanes,” Hilton said.


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Above all else, he hopes today’s youth will never have to experience what he and fellow veterans did.

“I’ve seen enough and don’t want to see anymore. War is horrible.”

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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