I say that with tongue in cheek, but my three youngest grandbabies, ages 5, 6 and 7, have visited the hospital on several occasions. Not for anything super serious, thank goodness. Watching them cavort with their friends at their annual joint birthday party today – their b-days are close together – I thought how lucky we are to have them.
You see, they are adopted. The youngest, Emerson, was only four days old when my daughter and her spouse brought her home from the hospital. My husband had the pleasure of babysitting her for two months until she was old enough to go to daycare.
Over the years since then, the kiddos have had their share of childhood illnesses and minor accidents, involving trips to the doctor and/or hospital. Which brings me to Cook Children's Medical Center.
Cook Children’s is a nationally recognized not-for-profit pediatric hospital located in Fort Worth, Texas. One of the largest freestanding pediatric medical centers in the U.S., it is consistently recognized as one the best children's hospitals in the nation. But it didn’t start out that way.
The Cook Children’s of today exists thanks to two women, Ida Turner and Matilda Nail Cook.
Ida Turner was the former postmistress of Fort Worth. On a cold November day in the early 1900s, Mrs. Turner met a man carrying an infant; the man was a doctor, and the child had been left on his doorstep. Mrs. Turner purchased a warm wrap for the baby and, doing some investigating, learned no hospital in Fort Worth would provide charity care for abandoned children.
Turner vowed to somehow build a hospital that would care for every child, regardless of the parents' ability to pay, and the community of Fort Worth rallied around her. Contributions poured in from hundreds of community members, land was donated, architects provided plans free of charge, countless tradesmen stepped in to build the hospital without any pay and scores of volunteers held fundraisers and stepped in wherever they could.
21, 1918, Mrs. Turner’s dream, the Free Baby Hospital was opened. The hospital opened its doors with only
30 beds. A second floor was added in 1922 to include care for older children
and adolescents and the hospital was eventually renamed The Fort Worth
|Fort Worth's Free Baby Hospital; https://www.cookchildrens.org/about/history/Pages/default.aspx|
Meanwhile, when oil was found on the Cook Ranch near Albany, Texas, in 1926, Matilda Nail Cook decided to use her money to found a hospital to serve Fort Worth’s women and children in memory of her late husband and daughter. On January 28, 1929, the W.I. Memorial Hospital opened. Designed in Italian Renaissance style, it had 55 beds.
|W.I. Cook Memorial Hospital; https://www.cookchildrens.org/about/history/Pages/default.aspx|
When the polio epidemic struck in 1952, the board of trustees of the W. I. Cook Memorial Hospital voted to expand the facility to 72 beds and changed its mission to care exclusively for children. They renamed the facility Cook Children's Hospital. It was proposed that the hospital combine with Fort Worth Children’s Hospital, but the boards of the respective institutions could not reach an agreement. The two hospitals finally merged in 1985. Countless Fort Worth and Tarrant County families are very grateful for the care given to their children by this fine medical center.
Lyn Horner is a multi-published, award-winning author of western historical romance and paranormal romantic suspense novels, all spiced with sensual romance. She is a former fashion illustrator and art instructor who resides in Fort Worth, Texas – “Where the West Begins” - with her husband and one very spoiled cat. As well as crafting passionate love stories, Lyn enjoys reading, gardening, genealogy, visiting with family and friends, and cuddling her furry, four-legged baby.
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