Their story is our story.
Remembered fondly, and by name
Years ago, Sister Catherine Hellmann was riding a bus to Portland International Airport when the driver struck up a conversation with her. The man, it seems, was born in Bend in the early days of St. Charles Hospital before World War II.
Upon learning Sister Catherine was also from Bend and worked at St. Charles Medical Center, he shared his story.
“He said, you know what my name is? My given name is Charles Edward. When I was born, we were in the little hospital on the hill and the doctor expected my mom to die and me, the baby, to die,’” Hellmann related.
But Sister Edward stayed with us day and night, stayed in mama’s room day and night, was with her, and we both lived. So, mama gave me the name Charles, after St. Charles, and Edward after Sister Edward,’” she recalled his words.
“I think loving care and compassion was mostly what you had to give,” Hellmann said of those early sister nurses.