Novant Rock Healing Garden Dedicated in Honor of Marshville First Grade Student

CHARLOTTE, NC – Novant Medical Center staff dedicated a Rock Garden on Monday, after a former patient’s message of hope caught on.
Hospital staff dedicating a rock garden today after a former patient’s kind act catches on.

There are colorful drops of hope peppered throughout the Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center landscaping in Elizabeth.

It’s all because of Cole Russell. The Marshville first grader needed something to do to pass the time while he was finishing up his hospital stay this fall.

“We decided to paint some rocks and put some inspirational messages on them and put them out,” said Emily Russell, Cole’s mom.

The movement caught the hospital administration’s attention.

“Some of the rocks showed up painted with inspirational messages,” said Saad Ehtisham, the President of Novant, “we felt like somebody was sending us a message.”

We first met Cole when his first grade class brought the first day of school to him in the hospital back in August.

“He has remained so positive and so strong through the whole process,” said Emily Russell when we spoke to her back then.

Cole spent months at the hospital and underwent several surgeries with intestinal issues. He was discharged and able to go home last week.

“We’re just home resting, relaxing, and healing,” said Emily Russell.

Cole leaves behind encouragement for others. Novant dedicated the Rocks of Healing Garden in his name today.

“We’re just so excited and blessed that a little kid could do something like this and we can just take it forward for him,” said Ehtisham.

Hospital patients can now look to Cole’s positivity while painting and passing the time.