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My AMH Story Masthead

Gertrude Larkin

Patient

I was born at AMH on 3/22/32. My given name was Gertrude Elizabeth Butler, however I was called "Judy" by hospital doctors, nurses and staff. At the time of my hospitalizations I lived with my grandparents, Joseph and Mary Laning on Susquehanna Rd. My mother's name was Gertrude Laning Butler.

I was a poster child for the hospital in the late 1930s and have a picture that was used for this poster. The poster noted that I had been a patient twice for pneumonia. In addition to these illnesses I was hospitalized numerous times between my birth and 1939.

The hospital saved my life on several occasions and without the care I received during my treatment there I would not be alive today.

During the times I was hospitalized there were days/weeks when I was able to play and my grandfather was permitted to put a dollhouse in my room. I remember very little about the hospital because I was so young, but I do remember the tender care of the nurses.

In the poster picture, taken by the hospital, I am shown with my grandfather who came to take me home and a nurse who was saying goodbye to me. When I look at that picture, now 80 years later, I feel tearful and grateful that your hospital is responsible for my long life.

I do not know if you have records that date to the 1930s so I hope this tells you something about the experience of a young child whose life you saved. Now you are a large medical facility. In the '30s you were a small hospital working hard to save the lives of all of us who lived in the community. I will be forever grateful to you.

On August 27, 1951, my daughter, Gertrude Elizabeth Swope, was born in AMH, and present at her birth was the same nurse who had taken care of me 20 years before.