The Call for Caring
A $10,000 bequest from a retired Vernon Jubilee Hospital nurse will help boost the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation’s Tower of Care Campaign.
It was 1956 when a nurse from Denmark answered the call to alleviate the nursing shortage taking place in Canada. Ammy Thestrup Nielsen first arrived in Medicine Hat where she worked as a registered nurse at Medicine Hat General Hospital for 10 years before moving to Calgary where she nursed at Holy Cross Hospital.
In 1968 Ammy moved to Vernon where she worked in extended care at the newly-opened Alexander Wing at Vernon Jubilee Hospital. Her association with VJH would last nearly two decades and lead to a legacy that would continue providing care for North Okanagan residents long into the future.
Rose Wilson met Ammy in the 1970s when Rose was working in the housekeeping department at VJH. They established a close and long-lasting friendship. “There was a group of us. We spent Christmases together and celebrated birthdays. Ammy always liked a glass of beer at the Squires Four,” says Rose.
“Ammy was a smart lady and a good nurse. When she came to Canada, she fully satisfied the Alberta and British Columbia requirements to nurse. “
Ammy retired in 1985. As her health began to deteriorate, Rose would take her to appointments and errands. As Ammy’s eyesight worsened, she eventually had to move into Orchard Valley Retirement Residence.
“The staff at Orchard Valley was amazed at what she could do. She would walk to Polson Park every day, picking up the Morning Star at Safeway and delivering it to the residents. She was a determined person,” says Rose.
At the age of 91, Ammy developed inoperable cancer and passed away a year later in May 2013.
Ammy’s $10,000 donation will be allocated towards one of the two Nourishment Centres that will be included on the 6th and 7th floors of Polson Tower. The nourishment station will include a fridge, microwave, toaster, sink, water dispenser and ice machine to provide patients and their families with any additional nutritional needs during their stay at the hospital.
“I think she would be honoured to have this in her name,” says Marie Trentini, a former VJH Human Resources manager and executor of Ammy’s estate. “Those things were important to her.”