News

January 3, 2013

Celebration Bell holds special significance for MRMC cancer patients and staff

COLUMBIA, TN - The sound of a bell can often evoke a sense of joy within the human spirit, especially at this time of year. Whether it’s a church bell calling the faithful to worship, or a sidewalk Santa reminding us that Christmas is just around the corner, the sound is special.

For Henry Phillips and others who have fought the same fight as him, the sound of a bell ringing at Maury Regional Medical Center (MRMC) holds a very special significance. It is a reminder that they are overcomers, victors and survivors. Here it means that each has won another battle in their personal war against the enemy cancer.

On December 12, Henry Phillips rang the Celebration Bell to mark the completion of his last round of radiation treatment for prostate cancer. Henry Phillips is one of more than 150 patients who have celebrated in this way at Maury Regional since the first bell was rung on August 21, 2012.

“Ringing the bell was the end of the first phase of my treatment. Looking around the hallway at the doctors, nurses, technicians and receptionist who had worked so closely with me let me know that I had made lifelong friends. These friends gave me moral support, answered questions about my condition and generally encouraged me during my treatments,” Phillips said. “I do not know of another place in Middle Tennessee where such detail is given to a patient’s care. I would recommend Maury Regional to anyone who needs the special care that I received.”

Director of Radiation Therapy David Thomas said the adoption of MRMC’s Celebration Bell occurred after Radiation Therapist Kathleen Robertson learned about its growing popularity at other medical centers throughout the world.

“I’d been looking at the World Wide Radiation Therapists Facebook page and saw that the Celebration Bell was getting a wonderful response internationally,” Robertson said. “We talked about it for several weeks and came to the conclusion that if it brightened the spirits of so many in so many places, it could do the same here.”

Thomas said the sound of the Celebration Bell brings joy to staff members as well as patients and their families.

“Staff will sometimes come running out from their rooms when they hear the bell. When a patient rings the Celebration Bell you can see a look of accomplishment on his or her face that is rewarding for the entire staff,” Thomas said.

Radiation therapy is a form of treatment used in the control of localized cancers. In this type of therapy, carefully controlled doses of radiation are used to target and destroy cancer cells. MRMC offers advanced technology for image-guided radiotherapy, a technology that allows the most accurate treatments possible in the shortest amount of time. For more information, call 931.380.4057.