Joyce and Baxter Howell
Joyce and Baxter Howell


For Joyce Howell, a retired healthcare worker of 30 years, the construction of the Lakeshore Healing Garden has personal meaning.  During 2009 while Joyce’s husband Baxter was a patient at James Paton Memorial Regional Health Centre, there were several occasions when a garden would have been a welcome relief from the day to day dealings of hospital life. 

“During Bax’s sickness we spent a lot of time in the hospital, close to 24-7.  And all that time there was no chance to get away from the clinical setting.  Just to let my mind relax and unwind would’ve been such a relief if only for a few minutes.  We did visit the patient garden at the Health Sciences Centre in St. John’s and I remember thinking it would be a wonderful idea to have something like that in Gander.  Unless you’ve been through what our family went through, then you may not know how important this garden will be.  It is so vitally important not only for patients and their famlies, but also for healthcare staff that have to deal with traumatic situations on a daily basis.”

The Lakeshore Healing Garden is a therapeutic patient garden currently under construction at James Paton Memorial Regional Health Centre with an approximate cost of  $300,000.  When completed the garden will feature a wheelchair accessible walking path, water fall, pond, tool shed, gazebos and several rest areas. 

“Bax passed away in 2010 and when I saw the construction taking place I was filled with joy to know that patients and visitors to this facility will be able to take advantage of the benefits of a healing garden. It’s something I wish had been here for our family.”

To donate to the Lakeshore Healing Garden you can  contact the Health Foundation at 256-5742 or by mail at P.O. Box 222 Gander, NL A1V 1W6 or email or securely online at You may also dedicate a tree in the garden if you wish. See our website for full details at








Have you or a loved one been helped as a result of a piece of equipment, or a health program, which has been funded by Foundation donors? Have you received care by a healthcare professional that goes above and beyond? Please take a minute to share your positive story with us!
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