The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Painting for patients

Widow makes murals to urge health-care reform

Regina Holliday couldn’t have anticipated a year ago that she would spend her days on a ladder, brush in hand, painting images that are both captivating and controversial. But a year ago her husband, Frederick, hadn’t been diagnosed with advanced kidney cancer. He spent years working retail and going to school to become a film studies teacher only to have his dream cut short. He died less than three months after the diagnosis, leaving his wife and two children.

Regina Holliday works on a building
Regina Holliday works on a building wall, painting her plea for better health care than her late husband received during his illness.
Holliday, a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Washington, D.C., believes that if the family could have afforded health insurance years earlier, and if the current health-care system afforded more patients’ rights, her husband could still be alive.

So Holliday started painting murals.The first one — on the outside wall of her husband’s favorite deli — depicts a reimagined medical chart, which the artist believes could save patients from needless injury or worse. The second mural, spanning 20 feet-by-50 feet on a gas station wall, is a personal piece titled “73 Cents,” which is the amount per page that it costs to get copies of your medical records in Maryland.

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