Letters from strangers delight hospitalized P.E.I. man

Letters from strangers delight hospitalized P.E.I. man

A P.E.I. man's request for some letters while in the hospital has become a runaway success.

Garfield MacLean has been in the intensive care unit at Prince County Hospital since September, recovering from a serious lung infection.

He still has no discharge date and wanted something to help brighten up his room.

So when MacLean made a request for some cards to decorate it, his wife Lori Ann set up a post office box that day and made an appeal for mail on Facebook.

Mail from around the world

Since then, MacLean has received more than 500 pieces of mail, including cards, letters, pictures and gifts from all around the world.

"It's amazing. One of the last cards we got just a couple of days ago was from Botswana. I certainly don't know anyone in Botswana," MacLean said. "We didn't really expect much of it."

He's received mail from as far away as Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China, Europe, 20 U.S. states and all the Canadian provinces, plus one territory.

'Reinforces your faith in human nature'

The project far exceeded his expectations but MacLean said he's grateful for everything that's been sent his way.

"It kind of reinforces your faith in human nature because a large part of them are from perfect strangers," he said. "It definitely helped my spirit and that helps your healing."

Entire classrooms, day cares and senior centres have written to MacLean.

He's even heard from celebrities such as Boy George and Henry Winkler over social media.

"Every one of them just shocks me," he said.

'It's been just wonderful'

For MacLean's family, the mail has been a reminder to stay positive.

"It shows there's still people that care, that don't know you and want to send joy and put a smile on your face," said his wife Lori Ann MacLean. "We read each one of them. We look at the stamps, we look at who they're from...it's been just wonderful."

The majority of the mail is at MacLean's home because he isn't actually allowed to cover the walls of his hospital room.

They've only been able to decorate the door of his hospital room, because of the building's fire code, but Lori Ann said she plans on making a scrap book to compile all the mail.

The couple also has ambitions to respond to the letters that have included return addresses and they're hoping for even more mail with the upcoming holiday season.

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