« PreviousContinue »
Let me now say, in conclusion, that if anyone should be moved to help, all inquiries will be cheerfully answered by the Treasurer, to whom donations in stamps of the smallest amount may be sent.
Letters to be addressed,
Rev. C. E. R. ROBINSON, the Castle, Gravesend. Parcels of Bibles, Prayer-books and Hymn-books suitable for conducting Worship on board a ship, and of magazines and books suitable for libraries, or for giving away on board, to be addressed,
The TREASURER, *St. ANDREW'S WATERSIDE MISSION HOUSE, "Goods Train.'
THAMES TERRACE, GRAVESEND. *FREE FROM BRICKLAYERS ARMS,' OR 'FENCHURCH ST. STATIONS.'
The South Eastern and Tilbury Railway Companies kindly carry parcels of books free when so addressed.
Gravesend, August 5th, 1868.
A VISIT TO ST. LUCY'S HOSPITAL,
BY CECILIA MACGREGOR.
THE pages of The Monthly Packet have from time to time been open to the different accounts of some very valuable works of mercy carried on in England, France, and elsewhere, which have been, no doubt, read with deep interest by all, for suffering is common to our nature, and localized everywhere.
Now no one with any observation can be blind to the many centres of relief which are springing up, and being multiplied through the country generally. Relief, alas! still inadequate to the many different calls made upon it. For suffering in our bright and beautiful world forms a large part of the picture; indeed, we can scarcely realize what the effect of its intense light would be, without this shadow ever accompanying it, with which we are now so familiar. From the cradle, before the child can tell its own little pains and sorrows, even to sere old age, suffering manifests itself in some one of its hydra-headed forms, under which we have perhaps ourselves felt its weight.
The particular work, for the mitigation of this sad suffering, in which we would seek to interest you now, has been, within the last year, nobly started in Gloucestershire. As we lay before you a brief account of the working of the St. Lucy's Hospital for Sick Children there, we shall, we feel sure, carry your sympathies with us.
! The traveller, after alighting at the Gloucester Station, will have to proceed about a mile and a half out of the town, on the Kingsholme Road, before he arrives at the picturesque and healthful spot chosen for the site of this good work. The Hospital is connected with the St. Lucy's Home for Sisters and Nurses, which has now been in existence some little time, by a long well-lighted corridor, with a beautiful roof; an extremely pretty view from the windows may be obtained of the surrounding country. The buildings stand in their own grounds, with a garden common to the Hospital and Sisters' HomeHere such of the little ones who are able take exercise every day; a small carriage has been provided for the use of those who are unable to walk. This facility for getting the fresh air constitutes often a large element in their progress towards recovery. Pent up as are so many of them from week to week in some over-crowded alley or court, there denied by cruel fate the light and air we 80 constantly enjoy, they are here transported into another world of sunshine and freshness. The limbs and lungs begin now for the first time to have room for action, the child starts in life again under kindlier aspects. For above its little head the birds sing merrily, the bee murmurs amongst the sweet flowers, and the child's voice learns to join also in the harmony of rejoicing nature. Some idea of the extent to which this Hospital has already been appreciated, may be gathered when we state that the twenty-one beds in the wards have been invariably full. Day by day since last October the little sufferers have been tenderly nursed by the kind Sisters of St. Lucy's.
The system on which the small patients are admitted can be explained in a few words. Two days in every week the Hospital for out-patients is opened in Gloucester. Here it rests with the medical men to decide which is the most urgent case of those before them. If room will admit, the child is entered at St. Lucy's at once, without favour or votes, while the other unsuccessful patients are relieved. Since the first week in September last year, not twelve months ago, more than a thousand have been under treatment; of these one hundred have occupied the wards of the Hospital, out of which number only two have died.
Every ward has a day nurse belonging to it, under whose especial care the children remain; one nurse overlooks all the Hospital at night. We shall not soon forget our introduction to the little girls' ward as we entered the Hospital. In spite of the serious afflictions under which some of the poor children were suffering, the bright happy look that pervaded them all was unmistakeable. Too ill to be moved from her crib, having serious hip disease, one little girl was playing with her doll, singing to it as she hushed it to sleep. Poor child! one's heart ached to think of the long dreary future that would probably follow on her helplessness; for the doctors, she told us, had that day said that she would, they feared, never be cured. Anyhow, all that could be done had been tried; and when she returned her parents would feel that their poverty had been no bar to their child's having the benefit of the best advice and care that even
the richest could obtain. It was difficult there to realize the full meaning of that word 'never,' no doubt, which fell from the child's lips as we talked to her about recovery. Just then it seemed all sunshine, and life to her was still, as a book is to us with uncut pages, which we possess, wholly ignorant of its contents.' Dr. Johnson once remarked about the world, that there was more in it to endure than to enjoy.' Perhaps endurance would be that little one's lot; as we turned away we could only fervently hope that, in her case, what seemed like punishment, might prove medicine; her reward, a jewelled crown for patient suffering.
The wards are much enlivened by the bright scarlet blankets on the children's cribs; red flannel jackets over their little night-dresses, all help also to give a cheerful and picturesque effect to the whole.
A word, in passing, must be bestowed upon the extremely convenient little moveable wooden shelves attached to the cribs, which run easily along the sides, and form tables either for the children's food or toys. Above the bed, suspended by a long iron pole, is the box (well out of the child's reach) in which its medicines or other remedies ordered for the case are kept; while at the foot of the bed is a printed card filled in with the child's name and that of the doctor in attendance; who also adds here the necessary instructions for the nurse's guidance. Pictures hang round the walls of all the wards; and toys have been amply provided for the little ones.
It was just tea-time when we were there; those of the children who are able, sit round the table in the middle of the ward. Substantial pieces of bread and butter, with milk and water, formed the children's tea. One little fellow was enjoying the additional luxury of an egg, that had been brought to him by some relation during the day. The boys and girls' wards are separate; but Walter, being the baby of this large nursery, was allowed to have his tea with the little girls. The mother of this little one, aged three and a half, died at his birth ; when first brought to the Hospital he was so small and suffering, that the nurse was afraid to dress him; he now begins to do full justice to the kind care bestowed on him. Each ward has a lavatory attached, a necessary and extremely convenient addition to the original plan. The rooms are all light and well ventilated. There is a nurse's room to each ward. Each ward contains seven beds; a separate one is provided for any extreme case. Up-stairs, isolated from the rest of the Hospital, is the ward for infectious cases—a large room with two fire-places—and nurse's bed-room and lavatory adjoining. A lift communicates with these rooms from the lower or kitchen part, so that all risk, from the nurses being obliged to go up and down stairs, is avoided. Added to the rooms we have already described, is the Physicians' consulting or surgeons' operating room ; a dispensary, bath-room, and two rooms for the Sisters' use, one of whom is always in charge of the Hospital.
Communicating with the kitchen after the model of the refectories of better days, is the large dining-hall where the nurses and community take their meals. At the end of one of the corridors up-stairs, is the beautiful
little chapel, with its stained window, and pretty open roof. Here, twice a week, the children who are able attend a short Litany Service with hymn. Morning and evening, short prayers and the Belief are read for them by one of the Sisters in their wards.
Separated but a short distance from the Hospital as the visitor drives up to the front door, a small church-like looking little building stands immediately facing him. It is the Mortuary Chapel, a temporary restingplace for the little ones who fall asleep at St. Lucy's.
"A sea before
Happy children, so to exchange suffering for rest! But yet more blessed for us, who still remain to be privileged to work for our Master, in tending and alleviating the pains and trials of those 'whose angels,' we are told, behold ever the Face of our Father which is in Heaven. Let us not forget as we minister to them, that once, in the form and with all the weaknesses of childhood, our Lord dwelt on the earth. More Sisters are urgently needed for the Hospital at St. Lucy's. We commend the work most heartily to all those whose leisure and circumstances would enable them to afford help. The Hospital at present is entirely supported by voluntary contributions. Gifts of clothing or books for the use and amusement of the little ones would be thankfully accepted.
One especial feature of the usefulness of St. Lucy's commends itself to us all. Carlyle somewhere says that 'Experience is a master that takes high wages, but we learn in that school better than in any other. St. Lucy's Hospital is at once an excellent school for doctors and nurses, where great advantages are afforded- for studying the diseases and ailments peculiar to children. We know not, but that after helping in the good work with our alms or personal service, the experience gained, the relief found there, shall re-act upon the life of some little one dear to us as our own soul. But failing any such directly tangible results as we have imagined, (results by no means impossible,) one day we shall certainly receive a full recompense as those blessed words fall upon our ears: ‘I was sick, and ye ministered unto Me;' and we enter upon
“The peace of all the faithful,
July 30th, 1868.
AUNT SUSAN'S NEPHEWS.
BY Y. S.
• HERRINGS, fresh herrings! Who'll buy my herrings?'
Strangers from the inland counties would have found it very hard to understand that hoarse shrill cry, pitched moreover in such a melancholy key. But the inhabitants of the old-fashioned sea-port town knew it well ; and if they were awakened by it, only turned themselves round in bed with a sigh of relief, thankful that they had at least one more hour to sleep before rousing themselves, for the old fisherman was an early riser, and generally began his doleful cry by six o'clock in the morning.
I say, Archie,' said his brother, springing out of bed, 'let's get up this morning and have some fun before breakfast. There's old Bill with his fish-basket coming up the street. Let's buy some herrings, do. Ain't you fond of herrings ?'
Do be quiet, and let me go to sleep, will you ? and don't talk nonsense. Herrings are good enough, but we can't eat them raw, and you know Cook won't dress them for us. She's as cross and grumpy as two sticks. And wouldn't Aunt Susan be in a way just !
‘But, I say, Archie, we will cook them ourselves. Won't that be jolly? We'll go and do them in the nursery when Nurse is out. She always goes out now of an evening, and she generally has a little bit of a fire there. If I make haste and dress, I shall be down-stairs by the time the old fellow is up the street.'
Well, as you like, Bertie ; only mind Aunt Susan will be in an awful way if it is discovered.'
Bertie slipped on his clothes—or dressed, as he called it-in no time, and crept down-stairs without encountering any of the servants, to his great satisfaction. He opened the street-door softly, and was just in time to catch the old fisherman.
• I say, Bill, stop one moment, will you? I want some herrings.
“Good morning to you, young gent. Who would have thought of you being up so early? And how is all the family—the missis especial ?'
'Don't talk so loud, Bill; and don't you see I am in a hurry? How much are the herrings ?
• A penny apiece, Sir. Fine fish they are, Sir, and quite fresh. They were only caught this morning. They're the last of the season, too. We sha'n't catch any again; it's getting late for them. But come here, Sir, out of the draught. It's cold where you're standing. You'll find it more sheltered here out of the wind,' said the old man, at the same time drawing the boy away from the front windows, where he was standing, to a more secluded corner.
• There, Sir, they're fine fish, Sir, and only a penny apiece. I would not cheat you for the world.'