Martha’s Vineyard Hospital Annual Fund

November 2015

This letter from Rev. Dr. John D. Schule, Pastor Emeritus of the Edgartown Federated
Church, was sent in May to Timothy J. Walsh, President and CEO of Martha’s
Vineyard Hospital.

This is a letter of appreciation for the help and comfort I have received from your staff.

In 2011, I was a patient at our hospital under the care of Dr. Pieter Pil and Dr. Ellen McMahon. I had been diagnosed with stage 4 angioimmunoblastic T cell lymphoma. I was transferred to the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and then referred to an oncologist at Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

Following six months of chemotherapy, one of the chemicals,vincristine, caused acute peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage that can cause weakness, numbness and pain, usually in your hands and feet). Nights were spent in agony. Little or no sleep, in and out of bed with leg cramps that were so debilitating, on several occasions I dislocated my knees. I know not how to describe the results of the prescription drugs, except to say that two years of my life were spent in a whirlwind of futility.Then, in the summer of 2014, I met Andrea Cranson-Flaherty,a physical therapist from Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. She had such a positive attitude and thought she could help. Within a week I began treatment with her at the Hospital. In short order, my pain began to decrease and I started sleeping much better. I was able to work outdoors again and even enjoyed snowshoeing during this past winter. As a pastor for half a century, I have visited parishioners with all kinds of illnesses. I have met many caregivers — and some of the best are right here at our very own hospital.

In the 38 years I have lived on the Vineyard, I have witnessed the power of one. You have made such a tremendous difference in our Island’s healthcare system and you have a wonderful team. One of whom is Andrea... the power of one. Though my cancer has resurfaced and I have started an experimental regimen again, I know that a great source of help and comfort will come from the giving of one called Andrea. In giving, faith reveals itself. In giving, love becomes real. In giving, the words “I care” are carried from one person to another.

In giving, sharing becomes a holy act. And if you are a believer, as I am, giving is so like God. When I leave Andrea’s office, I always leave with hope.

Our hospital is a great gift to all of us because of people like you, who have created a team that includes people like Andrea.

Gratefully yours,


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