Saying Thank You
Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012

Friends and family of Waimea resident, Nancy Donigan wanted to express their gratitude to NHCH and hospital social worker, Megan McCaffrey, for the outstanding care Nancy received during her battle with cancer. They thought the best way to say “Thank You” was from Nancy herself.

“Nancy was an avid quilter, who loved the color ‘dirty green’ says her best friend and fellow quilter, Lorane Elliott. “You could always pick Nancy’s quilts out of a pile; they were all the same color green.” Over the last ten years, Nancy was a member of every quilt group in North Hawaii and, at the time of her death last year, she was the leader of the Anuenue Quilters in Waimea. Nancy enjoyed quilting beautiful Hawaiian and patchwork quilts, and the Ka Hui Kapa Apana O’Waimea Quilt Club members remember Nancy fondly, not only for her beautiful quilts, but for her generosity and spirit of aloha.

“Nancy was always ready to share techniques, lend a spool of thread, or help her fellow quilters figure out how much fabric was needed and what size to cut the pieces,” said Lorane. Lorane and Nancy moved to Hawaii Island just two weeks apart and instantly “fell in like” with one another the moment they met. “We went everywhere together. She was a wonderful person and is dearly missed,” says Lorane.

Nancy was diagnosed with cancer in July of 2011 and received treatment by NHCH’s Oncology and Medical Surgical Departments until her death in September 2011. “Hospital Social Worker, Megan McCaffrey, was with Nancy every single day and went above and beyond the call of duty,” says Lorane. “Nancy’s children were so impressed by our tiny little Waimea hospital, including one of her sons who works at Johns Hopkins Hospital,” shared Lorane. “After she passed away, we wanted to show our gratitude to NHCH and Megan for treating Nancy so well, so we donated one of Nancy’s quilts to be auctioned off by the hospital with the proceeds retained by the hospital.” But the hospital’s Development Department had another idea.

“Once we received Nancy’s quilt and saw the beautiful pattern and serene colors, we knew instantly what to do,” says Kerry Howell, NHCH Vice President of Development, Marketing and Communications. “Nancy’s quilt is now on permanent display encased in a beautifully handcrafted koa wood frame and hung in the halls of NHCH for patients, staff and our community to enjoy for years to come.”

“Nancy’s family and I are so touched that the hospital decided to hang her quilt instead of auction it off,” says Lorane. “It makes me happy to know a piece of Nancy still exists and that she will continue to bring joy to others for a long time.”


Quilt information: “Coconut and Pineapple” quilt was hand appliquéd and hand quilted by Nancy Donigan. Quilt pattern design by Mealii Kalama.

Pictures: Top: NHCH Social Worker, Megan McCaffrey, (left) with Lorane Elliott, Nany's best friend (right). Below: Quilters and best friends, Lorane Elliott (left) and Nancy Donigan (right).