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Beryl, 73, has had a cherished association with Mater since being admitted from a country hospital for a diabetes related issue.
During an extended stay on Ward 4 in her teens, Beryl learned how to manage her diabetes through a portion diet and soaked up many other life lessons.
Across the journey Beryl has confronted several other health setbacks, including kidney concerns, meningitis, open heart surgery and cancer.
During the 1974 floods, with her family house in Jindalee underwater, Beryl presented to Mater by boat and ambulance, requesting Mater as her preferred hospital.
Another memory is watching the nurses from Ward 4 “parading around in all their finery”, preparing for the annual Mater Ball.
She has even knitted a koala-shaped tea cosy, by special request, for a Mater icon.“Sister Angela Mary saw me knitting one and asked if I could make one for her, to send home to her sister in Ireland,” Beryl laughs.
“Mater is basically my second home having spent numerous times there during my life. The nuns had a certain aura about them.”
Beryl began nursing herself in 1974 and studied midwifery in Tasmania before a 28-year career at The Prince Charles Hospital and later in aged care.
Nowadays she is a regular at her local Coffee Club at Flockton Village, Everton Park. Crossword and Sudoku in hand.
Or catching up with twin sister, Glenda; or playing tennis with an old friend… who was a nurse Beryl met during her days on Ward 4 at Mater.
At the Coffee Club, Beryl likes the fact the baristas know her order simply as “Beryl’s”. It’s that warm, personal touch that she relates to.
“What makes Mater so special for me is their caring attitude and their commitment. Their standards. Caring, compassionate nursing.”
Having volunteered for decades and remaining passionate about diabetes treatments and awareness, Beryl’s passion for leaving a Gift in Will to Mater is to extend her lifelong contribution across education, research and healthcare.
"Leaving a Gift in Will to Mater is a fairly natural thing. It’s what you can’t do while you’re alive that you can do later that will still help people. It’s a personal thing for me."
If these walls could talk… perhaps they would spin a yarn about a smiling, pocket rocket-framed patient – knitting a koala tea cosy!
It’s likely you already know the improvements Mater is making every day through medical research, health services and education. That is why we hope you’ll consider joining supporters like Beryl, as a Mater Guardian, by leaving a gift in your Will to Mater Foundation.
Learn more: letyourloveliveon.org.au
I have left a Gift in Will to Mater because if I hadn’t been looked after at Mater like I was, I wouldn’t be here. It’s a personal thing. There’s a spark in there that sets you off. For me it’s a fairly natural thing. It’s what you can’t do while you’re alive that you can do later that will still help people.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month