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The PHIL Award Appreciation Sculpture

People living with life-threatening pulmonary illnesses feel profound appreciation for the health care providers who allow them to “breathe easy”. The PHIL Award celebrates a key member of that team: the outstanding respiratory therapist. This exemplary professional sees the “person” instead of the “patient”; and is committed to the belief that every breath matters.

In the spirit of The PHIL Award, MK Shannon adapted her sculpture, Appreciation, of a sole standing figure, to include in its encircled arms a large and fully opened butterfly. The figure’s lines are clean, strong and quiet; the detailed butterfly in the foreground appears resting, yet ready to flutter. The unfailing and often background support of the respiratory therapist—who continually seeks more effective ways to enable the patient to breathe easier—is represented by the figure. The butterfly symbolizes the lungs, in their fragility, beauty and vitality. The sculptor illuminates the relationship between the respiratory therapist and the patient; in his or her hands the outstanding caregiver holds the patient’s freedom to breathe easier.

Breathing is natural and the essence of life. Patients with lung disease cherish every difficult breath they take. The FACES Foundation and the sculpture, Appreciation, honor the respiratory professional that strives to make that breath as easy as possible.

Written by Ellen Leopold