A Walsall Nursing heroine, whose compassion and care during the 1860s and 1870s is still acknowledged today, will be celebrated at a special service this weekend.
Dorothy Pattison, better known as Sister Dora, is often referred to as Walsall’s very own Florence Nightingale for her selfless dedication to nursing thousands of patients at two hospitals in the town – many of whom were victims of industrial accidents.
She was born on 16 January 1832 and every year a service of commemoration is held to honour her memory and remember her legacy which has gone on to influence healthcare locally as well as inspire new generations.
Lisa Carroll, Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s Chief Nursing Officer, will attend the service at 11am this Sunday 21 January at St Paul’s Church in Darwall Street.
She said: “No-one epitomises the true vocation of Nursing more than Sister Dora.
“We know that she struggled to realise her ambition because of the circumstances of the time yet she showed such determination and strength of character to never waver from her ambition – there’s a lesson there for us all.”
And an author and distant relative of Sister Dora who was part of last year’s part 75th birthday celebrations for the NHS at the Manor Hospital, is delighted that she is still held in such high regard.
Suzanne Stirke’s husband Peter’s great, great, great uncle was married to one of Sister Dora’s sisters, Rachel. And Suzanne lives just a few miles from her birthplace of Hauxwell, in north Yorkshire.
She said: “I was thrilled to come to Walsall last year to give a talk about Sister Dora and to get a real sense of how her legacy lives on. I spoke to so many patients and staff about her and was so pleased at how fondly she is still remembered.”
Everyone is welcome to attend this Sunday’s service which will also give thanks for the continued work and dedication of those who work in the NHS.