Thanks to the generousity of our supporters, the Tranquility Garden at Brackenridge Hospital became a reality, and we’d like to share a story of courage, hope and healing that was made possible by this support. Judge Julie Kocurek is beloved and respected in our community; you may have followed the story of the serious attack which almost took her life and changed her family forever.  She told us this extraordinary story and generously agreed to share it with our community.

Even though Brackenridge is closed, and the building will make way for newer and more innovative health care through the partnership with Dell Medical School, Central Health and Ascension Seton, the Tranquility Garden has continued serving the Ascension Seton’s Clinical Education Center.  It will remain in place for several more years, before making way for an Innovation Zone and biotech advances that will elevate care in Central Texas.

Judge Kocurek’s story….

“I was admitted to Brackenridge on November 6, 2015. The following 2 weeks were the most difficult hours and days of my life. I almost died and I no longer had the will to live.  By November 21, I was well enough to go outside to the Tranquility Garden. It was in the afternoon and I was with my whole family.  The air was clean and crisp.  It was the first time I had felt the sun. It was so peaceful out there.  They pushed me all around the garden.  That visit changed my outlook on life going forward.  When they brought me back to the room, I asked my sister to get a calendar and to tell me what day it was.  She showed me the calendar… and I said, “I want to make a to do list.  This is the first day of the rest of my life… I want to live, I want to get my life back.”  So we made my to do list.  I still have a copy.

That visit to the garden was a turning point in my healing and recovery.  Everyday thereafter, I went back to the garden.  It was the highlight of my day for Aaron, the orderly, to come wheel me out… soon I began walking and eventually walked out to the garden. I remember seeing all of the names on the plaques in the garden and thinking… some day I want to be able the thank the people whose names are out here and tell them how much this garden meant to me and how much it helped me heal both emotionally and physically. So thank you to all of you who helped to make the tranquility garden.  It is amazing to feel the healing impact of nature in a serene place. You have impacted my life and many others by giving us this place to go and find strength and peace.”