Hines VA embraces the magic of Monarchs - Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital
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Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital


Hines VA embraces the magic of Monarchs

Veterans at Hines discover the relaxing value of butterflies

Above: Cindy Hennessy volunteers at Hines VA to educate and entertain Veterans. Below: Hines Veteran Reggie Morris enjoys interacting with the Monarch butterfly. The butterflies will travel thousands of miles to Mexico each year during winter migration.

By Hines Media Services
Monday, September 17, 2018

According to Native American folklore, if anyone wants a wish to come true they must whisper their request to a butterfly. Since a butterfly can make no sound, it is unable to reveal the wish to anyone but the Great Spirit who sees and hears all.

So, it is appropriate that the Monarch butterfly has a calming effect and was recently used as a therapeutic recreation activity at Hines VA.

Cindy Hennessy is proud to be known as “The Butterfly Lady.” She has been making appearances and educating others for 10 years. She first visited Hines VA last July. The experience had such a positive impact on her she decided to revisit our local Veterans. “They’ve lived a lifetime and most have never touched a butterfly or had one hold on to them,” said Hennessy.

“It’s good to think about peaceful things rather than dwell on past horrible things. It makes me really happy,” said Veteran Michael Brock.

Mary Squeo, a certified therapeutic recreation specialist at Hines VA says the interaction with Monarchs allows Veterans to take their minds away from troubling thoughts or physical pain. “The butterflies bring them comfort and joy,” said Squeo.

Once Monarchs spreads its wings they are released. It will take them two months to migrate to Mexico. If the legend holds true, by making a wish and giving the butterfly its freedom, the wish will be taken to the heavens and granted.

A broadcast version of this story from WGN Reporter Erin Ivory can be found on our Facebook page or by clicking here.



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