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Patrick Thompson Suite at Brigham and Women's Hospital

Patrick V. Thompson History

Patrick Thompson was nine years old when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut. When he was 14 years old, Patrick and his parents traveled to Boston to undergo treatment with a series of bone marrow transplants at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He was a patient at Brigham and Women’s Hospital from August 1985, until January 5, 1986.

Patrick was the beloved son of Robert and Nancy Thompson, and the big brother of Anne, Joseph, and Christina Thompson. Pat was an altar boy, a cub scout, a paperboy, and was awarded the Best Citizen Award when he graduated from the eighth grade in June, 1985. He played basketball, baseball, golf, and loved to swim and camp with his family.

With the loving care of his family and friends and the support of his Brigham and Women’s caregivers, Patrick faced his illness with courage, grace, and determination. Surrounded by his family and dedicated caregivers, Patrick died at the hospital on January 5, 1986.

The Legacy of the Patrick Thompson House

During Patrick’s treatment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Thompson family recognized the growing need for affordable local accommodations for adult cancer patients and their loved ones. Many patients and families require treatment for extended periods of time, and, as in Patrick’s case, travel long distances to receive their care. The course of therapy may last from two months to a year, and patients often must stay in the hospital or live nearby. Because family support is crucial at this time, the Department of Social Work and the Hematology Division worked for more than a year to find a creative solution to assist patients and their families to stay near the hospital.

Through the fundraising efforts of Patrick’s family and friends, as well as many other families facing similar crises, and in collaboration with various teams at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the vision of a special home for patients and their families became a reality. Number 48 Francis Street was dedicated as the Patrick Thompson House at Brigham and Women’s Hospital on May 21, 1987. As such, it became the first home away from home in New England for adult cancer patients and their families.

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