Six-year-old Arad Yaghooti knows Mount Sinai Hospital as his “mommy’s hospital,” because it’s where his mother Shaqayeq began her anesthesia training.
“I started my anesthesia training at Mount Sinai,” says Shaqayeq. “So, he is curious about any changes that happen and follows everything very closely.”
Arad and his parents live nearby, and one day, on their walk to school, he saw Sinai Health Foundation’s new Love Locks installation on Murray Street. The colourful heart-shaped locks instantly attracted his attention.
When he asked Shaqayeq about the locks, she told her son that “they’re for donations to make hospitals a better and safer place for both patients and staff.”
“When I explained to him the reason to donate to the hospitals, he asked me, ‘may I donate too?”
Arad was proud to make a difference, and he eagerly anticipated his next walk to school so he could see his very own heart. But after a few days of looking, Arad and Shaqayeq still didn’t see it.
“We typically put the new hearts up each Tuesday, and they made their donation on Tuesday, so it would normally have taken a full week,” explains Dan Hadad, Sinai Health Foundation Director of Innovation Philanthropy.
As the end of the week approached, Shaqayeq sent an email asking when her son could expect to see his beloved heart.
“We didn’t want him to have to wait any longer,” says Dan. “We went to add his heart on the Friday so he could see it on his way home from school before the weekend.”
Dan also made sure to give Arad the key to his heart lock which is not something most donors receive.
“Arad is so proud of himself,” says Shaqayeq. “He has made a necklace with the key and shows it to his friends, explaining that he has a lock in front of Mount Sinai to share love and care. He is so excited.”
As a front-line worker with a young family, Shaqayeq is a grateful recipient of the love and care that Sinai Health’s Love Locks represent.
“The burden of the pandemic multiplies for all frontline workers and their families,” she says. “I am always concerned about contracting COVID-19 at work and passing it to my family.”
That’s why, she says, every bit of support counts.
“People are very appreciative for our work on the frontlines. For example, one of our neighbours once told my son how much he appreciates his mommy’s work during this hard time. This helped Arad understand if mommy is not home, she is supporting sick people in need.”
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