Daughters continue their mother’s legacy

Laura Cornett meant many different things to many different people. She was a teacher, a writer, a painter and a pediatric chaplain at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, but first and foremost a devoted wife and mother. For years, Laura spent her time at the MCH comforting and supporting patients and families during their most difficult moments. She worked primarily in the Emergency Room and her children remember how she would often jump into a cab in the middle of the night to rush to the hospital. “Working at the Children’s was far more than just a job for my mom - it was her calling,” says her daughter, Anne Marie. Sadly, Laura was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002, and unable to continue working at the MCH, she turned to art to deal with her pain. She soon discovered a hidden talent for sculpture and painting. After a courageous eight-year battle with cancer, Laura passed away peacefully on July 5, 2010.

Laura’s daughters have worked hard to preserve their mother’s legacy, one of service, love and compassion. “We felt that more people could benefit from our mother’s art so we decided to create cards from her paintings, starting with the two works that she herself had made into sympathy cards,” says Anne Marie. Recently, the Cornett daughters contacted the MCH Palliative Care department. Dr. Stephen Liben, director of the department, was deeply moved by two cards in particular. “To me the cards speak of transition, death, beauty, loss and life,” he says. His team now sends the cards to families who have lost a child. “The MCH meant so much to our mother and we hope these cards will offer some measure of comfort and peace to families during such a difficult time,” says Anne Marie. “She would have wanted that.”