His donated pictures worth a thousand words -- of thanks

Grateful patient gifts staff with two drawings of Newport scenery inspired by his successful rehabs

After a lengthy stay at Newport Hospital’s Vanderbilt Rehabilitation Center in 2009 for Guillain-Barre Syndrome, architect George Burman found himself back at another Lifespan hospital in 2017, when he was treated at Providence’s The Miriam Hospital for an aneurysm in his left leg.


Burman, inspired by the views of Newport from Vanderbilt's windows, found quiet space in a hallway to work on his drawings

“When they asked me where I wanted to go after the surgery, I told them I wanted to come here (Vanderbilt Rehabilitation Center). I knew they would get me on my feet again,” says Burman of his choice of rehabilitation facilities. “This place is a godsend.” 

Though several years had passed since his last visit to Vanderbilt, Burman did not forget the exceptional care he received from the staff at Vanderbilt. “I could only move my eyelids. I was totally paralyzed. They got me functioning again like a human being. They were so kind, and I was so helpless.”

While his previous stay lasted six months, the recovery period for his leg was far shorter.

This time around, Burman again qualified for the intense, three-hour-a-day therapy program, which he feels accelerated the healing process. Thanks to physical therapy staff at Vanderbilt, Burman says, his rehabilitation lasted less than two weeks.

While building his strength, Burman had a chance to revisit a project he had started the last time he was a patient at Vanderbilt. Burman had drawn a series of sketches depicting the beautiful scenery of Newport visible from the unit’s sixth-floor windows. 

“It gave me time to draw. As an architect, I love to draw,” he explains.

Soon after being discharged, Burman returned to Newport Hospital and presented the staff of Vanderbilt with two beautiful watercolor drawings as a gesture of his gratitude.