Longtime Cheshire patient's extraordinary show of appreciation

An elderly man in a wheelchair poses with five members of Cheshire Medical Center's clinical staff
Dick Comerford holds the sign his wife, Sharon, made while some of his care team members. From left: Joan Fletcher, LPN; Cardiologist Todd Silberstein, DO; Amaris Weller, MPAS, PA-C; Podiatrist Serena Shomody, DPM, FACFAS; and Ellen Slocum, LPN.

This time of year, many people look back and reach out to those who have been a game changer in their lives. ... My gratitude goes to the wonderful employees of Cheshire Medical Center.

Dick Comerford

In mid-December, Dick Comerford, a longtime Cheshire Medical Center patient, contacted the Marketing and Communications department to get the hospital’s blessing for an ad he wanted to run in The Monadnock Shopper News’ Dec. 27, 2023, to Jan. 2, 2024 issue. Other departments had received similar calls from Dick. It’s not unusual to hear from grateful patients, but we’ve never received a call asking permission to run an ad thanking the hospital and its staff.

It was a first for The Shopper News as well.

“All I can say is that in my over 40 years of being the publisher of the MSN, I have never seen such an act of appreciation for any local business or non-profit,” said Mitchell Shakour, longtime publisher of the free weekly paper that is widely distributed in the Monadnock Region.

Dick began his 924-word letter of appreciation with the headline, “Hooray and Happy Holidays to the Employees at Cheshire Medical Center,” and this statement:

“This time of year, many people look back and reach out to those who have been a game changer in their lives. Disabled for 18 months and hospitalized seven times, at 83, I was given the gift of health in November, when a long battle had been won, having learned how to walk, breathe without the use of oxygen, lose 50 pounds, and turn a 60-year pack a day smoking habit into just three cigarettes a day. My gratitude goes to the wonderful employees of CHESHIRE MEDICAL CENTER.”

He thanked more than 30 individuals by name, as well as other entire departments and staff members.

So many people were touched by Dick’s words that we hoped to gather everyone mentioned in the ad for a photo, but that proved logistically difficult. So, Dick asked five employees to be in the photo with him—and they all agreed, including Joan Fletcher, a newly retired licensed practical nurse from Cardiology.

Not long after the photo was taken, Dick left us a message.

“I just wanted you to know that the photo shoot was just perfect. It was perfect in every way. Please tell everyone how much it meant to me.”

Here is the ad that ran in the Dec. 27, 2023, to Jan. 2, 2024 issue of The Monadnock Shopper News:

A newspaper ad, with black text on a yellow field, thanks Cheshire Medical Center.