I was thrilled to read The Augusta Chronicle editorial about the purchase of the former St. Joseph Hospital, now Trinity Hospital, onWrightsboro Road by University Hospital (“Miraculous recovery,” May 30).
It brought back very vivid memories of my trips from my home in Aiken to St. Joseph during the first eight months of 1953, when the hospital was quite new.
My mother, Laura Liles Creadick, had been diagnosed with breast cancer and was being treated by the incredibly talented and caring doctors and nurses at that hospital.
Most of her nurses then were Roman Catholic nuns who devoted their time to making her comfortable, offering her solace and praying for her recovery.
They also took great care in talking to me, a very worried 15-year-old, and offering their wisdom to calm my fears when I was there.
My mother had to have a mastectomy and radiation treatments, and during her every trip to St. Joseph for the radiation, she was surrounded by two or more nuns who stayed with her through the ordeal. The doctors were wonderful, too, and always available for anycontingencies that arose during treatments.
Unfortunately, my mother was not recovering and came home for good that August. A week before Mother died we had a phone callfrom one of the nuns at St. Joseph asking if she and another nun could come to our house in Aiken and pray at Mother’s side.
We were Episcopalians, not Catholic, but my father was thrilled that the nuns wished to come. They arrived in the morning, knelt at theside of Mother’s bed and prayed for two hours, never wavering from their position.
When they were ready to leave, the nuns hugged the whole family and offered us their prayers. I was always sorry that Mother was notaware of the fact that they were there, but as I grew older I realized that she probably did know, and was able to slip peacefully away.One of the nuns came to her funeral the next week.
The fact that St. Joseph Hospital, though under a new name and management again, will be able to continue its healing work gives megreat satisfaction. I feel so confident that University Hospital encompasses the same caring values that made St. Joseph special in a time of our family’s great need!
Molly C. Gray