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Kevin's Garden

Maggie DaleyChildren's Memorial HospitalLocal GovernmentHealthcare ProvidersRichard M. Daley

The late Maggie Daley transformed this city into a garden. And now a place of healing and new life for sick children and their families. Lurie Children's Hospital is set to open in June. Today we got to open our eyes to Kevin's garden -- a space dedicated to former Mayor Richard and Maggie Daley's son.

A living, breathing room. Flowers grow and brighten the spirit. A fountain -- like the circle of life -- constantly moving, soothing.

This is a window to the world for sick kids who will be treated at the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. Some will stay for months -- their only breath of outside air from this point of peace.

This smiling, blue-eyed boy is the inspiration -- Kevin Daley, born with spina bifida. He fought for life for 33 months.

Dr. David McLone, Children's Memorial Hospital, pediatric neurosurgeon: "Kevin's life would depend on machines and monitors both in the hospital and at home. His mom, Maggie, once referred to Kevin as 'that brave little boy,' and indeed he was."

Children's Memorial neurosurgeon Dr. David McLone treated Kevin Daley and hundreds of others with spina bifida.

Dr. McLone: "Ultimately, this brave little boy would lose his battle and go to heaven before his third birthday."

With his memory alive in their hearts, the creative team behind Kevin's garden wanted to make sure it was extra special. Maggie Daley and designers sit on the concrete floor imagining -- this.

Bridget Evans, Children's Memorial patient: "While growing up there were many holidays when I was here during the Mayor's annual visits. During those visits I learned about Kevin and grew to appreciate the depth of Mr. and Mrs. Daley's commitment to Children's Memorial."

Bridget Evans, a former Children's patient, also has spina bifida. She met with Maggie Daley and talked about what she would cherish in Kevin's garden.

Tears in his eyes and surrounded by family, Mayor Daley cut the ribbon and embraced the memories of his lost loves.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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