xt7cjs9h5b56 https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt7cjs9h5b56/data/mets.xml The Frontier Nursing Service, Inc. 1931 bulletins  English The Frontier Nursing Service, Inc. Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Frontier Nursing Service Quarterly Bulletins The Quarterly Bulletin of The Frontier Nursing Service, Inc., Vol. VII, No. 2, Autumn 1931 text The Quarterly Bulletin of The Frontier Nursing Service, Inc., Vol. VII, No. 2, Autumn 1931 1931 2014 true xt7cjs9h5b56 section xt7cjs9h5b56 T The Quarterly Bulletin of
The Frontier Nursing Service, Inc.
_ v0L. vu. AUTUMN, 1931 N0. 2
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5   NANCY O’DRISCOLL

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NANCY O'DRISCOLL AND HER. CUTSHIN CLINIC  
THE QUARTERLY BULLETIN OF I
THE FRONTIER NURSING SERVICE, Inc. *5
I
Published quarterly by the Frontier Nursing Service, Lexington. Ky. J)
susscaiprrox pmcia :1.00 man YEAR  
  —-— \
VOLUME VII. AUTUMN, 1931 NUMBER 2
"Entered as second class matter June 30, 1926, at the Post Ojice at Lexington,
Ky., under the Act of March 3, I879."

 ia
I o F,R9§TIE.R,NUR$iN§, QQRVIGE 1 . 1. .11. 1
I
] Alu Hirmnrmm
E HANNAH (NANCY) O’DRISCOLL
W "Oh valiant heart, who to your glory came
Through dust of conflict and through battle-flame;
  Tranquil you lie, your knightly virtue proved,
  Your memory hallowed in the land you loved."
» Nancy O’Driscoll was born at Skibbereen, Ireland, on Sep-
tember 15, 1892, and died Monday, July 20, 1931, at the Hyden
I Hospital following an operation on Wednesday, the fifteenth, for
a ruptured appendix.
I
For two or three days preceding her fatal illness, she had
not been well, but accustomed to making light of her own dis-
l comfort, she failed to recognize the nature and gravity of her
illness and continued on duty. On Tuesday morning she went
A, out on her rounds as usual to attend her Cutshin clinic and visit
V the mothers and babies and the sick committed to her care.
V Hers was one of the hardest districts in the Service—a river to
ford twice, mountains so steep that a horse could barely make
F them, seven gates to be opened and shut going and coming.
E Still thinking her acute pain due to a temporary upset, and
» making light of it, she fulfilled every obligation——and came
  home that night with a ruptured appendix. Nothing that could
be done afterwards by the skilled surgeon who came in to operate
and visit her twice to direct her case, by our own two doctors
who never left her, by the nurses who vied with one another in
giving her special care, by everything that modern science and
deep affection could suggest-nothing availed to save a life
precious to many people.
  Only a few weeks before her own death, Nancy accompanied
gl. the body of one of her patients back from the hospital for burial
`  _ on the top of a mountain at the end of a trail, every winding
1 of which was familiar to her, through heat and cold, day and
night. While the men carrying the homemade casket stopped
l for some coffee at a nearby cabin before beginning the long
climb up, Nancy and one of her friends sat on the banks of the

 s
2 THE QUARTERLY BULLETIN l
' river holding the rope to which was attached a boat with the gj
· casket. Nancy said then to her friend, "If I ever die up here ·
I should like to be carried out as simply as this."
So it happened that before the month was over, eighteen
of the men who honored her came up to the hospital to carry  
her casket down the winding path through the little village over `
to the banks of the same river. Immediately behind, followed  
her black mare, Raven, the stirrups reversed over the empty  
saddle. After that rode a corps of nurses in uniform, and then
many, many people, mounted or on foot, followed silently as the h
little procession moved on towards its final destination, two
hundred miles away——the grave given by Calvary Cemetery in .
Lexington, which is her last resting place.
It is hard to sum up in a few words the spiritual beauty of
, a life like Nancy’s. One of the men from her district expressed 1
something of it when he said, with eyes full of tears, "I don’t
feel like I can ever go back to Hyden. She saved my woman." V
During her hours of delirium, Nancy’s mind wandered »
always to her patients———especially the mothers and the newly l
·born—and she tried to get up to go to them. In her rational
moments she gave helpful directions to the relief nurse who had V
taken over her district. Not once did she ask anything for
herself.
A meeting of the Hyden District Committee soon after her
_ death, which passed the resolutions appended to this brief »
sketch, and which voted to build a clinic at Cutshin as a memo- I
rial to her work, is another indication of the hold Nancy had ;
upon her people. But how can one put into words the gaiety
of that charming personality which brightened every life
about her? A
One evening, when McAlpin was playing Harry Lauder’s _
songs on the gramophone, she announced that she would have  
only Scotch tunes played in Heaven. Said Nancy, "But you’ll rl
play the Irish airs for me, Mac." `."
A character like Nancy’s cannot be described in faulty R
human language. It must be lived out in a life. For a while
it was our privilege to know a person from whose hidden depths
there welled up a never-failing spring of joyous beauty, one

 Q
A m2oN·1·1m¤. Nuasme smzvrcm s
gi whose humility took no account of her own loveliness, before
· whose glad belief in the reality of goodness all harsh and dis-
cordant notes died away. Wherever Nancy went, happiness,
trust and hope sprang up around her in the saddest lives.
  Nancy’s body rests forever under the Kentucky skies she
if came to love like her own. In the creative beauty of her life,
'·a` we recognize a presence triumphant over the powers of death.
V. "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom
, of Heaven." 4
· Resolutions ··
In the mystery of life, we are brought face to face with
the mystery of death. Miss Nancy O’Driscoll is now gone-
1 she has passed from the shores of sound to the realms of si-
lence. Nothing is nobler than to plant the flower of gratitude
` on the grave of one so generous and one whose hands and heart
Q were always open and full.
Miss O’Driscoll died at the Hyden Hospital on the 20th
day of July, 1931. A member of the Nursing Staff of the
I Frontier Nursing Service, she was able, in the few months she
lived here, to prove her real worth, and it is our pleasure to ac-
knowledge a debt of gratitude to one who was the friend of all
who gathered here, and to one who has left, to those who knew
F her best, the memory of loving deeds.
` The Frontier Nursing Service has lost one of its Nursing
? Staff—a vacancy that will be hard to fill with one who can
serve as devotedly and conscientiously as did Miss O’Driscoll.
To her friends and companions here and to her people and
. o kindred across the sea, we extend our sympathies, and take this
, opportunity of expressing our gratitude for the splendid services
{Wt of Miss O’Driscoll, cut short by her untimely death and in the
lil noon and zenith of her career.
. I t"'i 
. The foregoing resolutions were drawn up by a. committee
appointed by the Chair, composed of Mr.` Ray Roberts, Judge
I. V. A. Maggard and Mr. M. C. Begley, and were unanimously
` ;Y¤
A  

 ` - 4 THE QUARTERLY Bdrmrrxn  _ _ ___ V
' adopted at a meeting of the Hyden District Committee of the  
Frontier Nursing Service and were ordered spread on the min- {
‘ utes and copied and forwarded to the family of Miss O’Driscoll.  
l
A Copy,—Attest: V
Mrs. M. C. Begley, Secretary. _,
I W SERVICE CONDUCTED FOR FRONTIER NURSE
J Miss Hannah O’Driscoll Is Laid to Rest in
J Calvary Cemetery
Services for Miss Hannah O’Driscoll, member of the Fron- V  
tier Nursing Service, who died at Hyden, were conducted yes-
terday morning at 9 o’clock at St. Peter’s church with the Rev. ?
Father Priest, of Hazard, officiating. Burial was in Calvary »
. cemetery.
Pallbearers were Dr. John Scott, Dr. Scott Breckinridge, _
y Dr. J. S. Chambers, Dr. J. E. Murphy, Dr. Francis Massie, Dr. · `
, W. M. Brown and Dr. J. F. Owen.
J Miss O’Driscoll, a native of Ireland who came to this coun-
‘ try last October to assist in the work of the nursing service, _
suffered a ruptured appendix while dismounting from a horse, g l
which resulted in her death. M
Mrs. Mary Breckinridge, head of the Frontier Service, and J
» several members of the staff who have been associated with
Miss O’Driscoll in her work, were here for the funeral and
burial.——Lexing·ton Herald, Lexington, Kentucky, July 24, 1931.

 __A_ Fnowrma NURSING smzvicm s
I AN IRISH HEROINE
   
(Lexington Herald, Lexington, Kentucky, July 24, 1931.)
». Funeral services were held at St. Peter’s Church in Lex-
» ington Thursday morning for a young Irish girl who, after
" training herself in the best schools of England, came to America
to serve with the Frontier Nursing Service in the mountains of
Kentucky and gave her life in that service.
No soldier on a field of battle, no pioneer carrying the flag
of civilization, ever died a more heroic death in a nobler cause
than did Hannah O’Driscoll, the nurse-midwife who came from
i the verdant valleys of Ireland to the green hills of Kentucky to
enlist in the warfare to save mothers and children. A soldier
“ dies in a war of extermination; the nurse died in the war for
the preservation of the race.
  In the brief account published in The Herald of Wednesday ‘
telling of the circumstances of the death of Hannah O’Driscoll
there is some revelation of the consecration of the nurses who
are giving of their strength and, if need be, their lives in the
campaign inaugurated and waged by the Frontier Nursing
Service.
I   Miss O’Driscoll traveled many miles on horseback to attend
  an expectant mother. Suffering though she was, she had no
I thought of turning back. Dismounting from her horse to open
1 ` a gate she ruptured her appendix, but even then did not return
to headquarters until she had completed her task. And in the
very presence of death that gallant Irish girl gave to her asso-
.. · ciates details of the work she had been carrying on in a remote
F, section of Leslie county and outlined plans that she had made
’···· for improvement of health conditions in her district.
t And she was but typical of those nurses and midwives who
have been gathered from the United States, Canada, England,
Ireland and Scotland, all trained in the best colleges and hos-
pitals to serve in the campaign to care for the mothers and

 ; ll
il
6 THE QUARTERLY BULLETIN ,g__~___ S
. children of the mountainous and rural regions of the United  
States. R
` * =•= >1< =•= =•= g
There is published in other columns of this issue a brief  
communication from Dr. Scott D. Breckinridge, emphasizing  
the larger aspect of the work that is being done by the Frontier ‘
Nursing Service. Dr. Breckinridge states that it is the biggest
research in public health work in the last quarter of a century, ·
blazing the way for the solution of two of the most vital prob-
lems in medical practice today—the unequal distribution of the  
medical profession and our distressing maternal mortality in  
childbirth as compared with other civilized countries.  
We do not attempt to amplify the statements made by Dr. ·`
' Breckinridge, that carry the weight of his long training, wide p
experience and high repute. We do feel it well worth while l
for the people of Kentucky to get a realization of the momen- {
tous experiment that is being made by the Frontier Nursing  
Service and the noble service of the women who are carrying I
on under that association.  
i
Sometimes, often in the hurly burly of daily life, with the S?
voice of the stock market and the noises of the industrial and  
commercial life sounding to heaven, it seems as if the future .  
of the nation might be one only of commercial and industrial ~
strife.  
i Yet, when there comes such an illustration as is given by ll
the death of Hannah O’Driscoll of the consecration of noble i
spirits to the service of the race and the revelation of the devo-
  p tion of those who are giving their all to the saving and the *
upbuilding of the children of the nation, one can but believe 5
that the future is safe. +

 S FRONTIER ggsrue smiwicm 7
l
l A FLOOD TIDE AND BABIES
i
  . "Heavens! What a night! We can all go to bed to sleep
. tonight, girls :-no one can possibly come out a night like this."
This remark came from one of the three "District Midwives"
who were each awaiting a midwifery call. It was a deluge-
and what a "tide"! One needs to live in the Kentucky moun-
; tains before they can understand just how truly the heavens
  com open.
, I went to bed realizing how impossible it would be to ford
Q a river racing down 30 miles an hour-it would be madness for
‘ any one to attempt it; after a benediction, such as·, "We have
l never lost a baby as a result of a tide, yet," I closed my eyes
if and ears and was lost to the world-until 2:30 A. M.—I heard
l the call, "Hey there," but of course it could not be for me-I
  snuggled down again but within the next two minutes "Betty"
  switched on my light-"Batten," it’s "Mat Asher." I think
_; Betty’s eyes were pretty eloquent. She was sorry any one had
l to turn out on such a night-but her sympathy took a practical
l form-she said "I’ll go down to saddle ‘Snip’ for you." As she
I disappeared, another form came and another voice—this time
J "Harry"-"Batten, wouldn’t you like a cup of tea before you
il go?" How well she knew my "life-saver." By this time I
·{ was all set and I believed I was sufficiently awake to smile, when
{ Harry again asked: "Batten, got any tea to take with you ?"
W We reached the hall to find Betty holding quite a confer-
i ence with Mat and his brother. Quickly I was told it was im-
` possible to take "Snip"; it was the biggest tide ever and even
 + the roads were flooded-so we would have to wade the flooded
  roads until we could make a detour to the river and then cross
l ` over in a boat. What a thrill! I was truly all excited. What
could be more thrilling than setting out at 3 A. M. on foot—one
man with the saddlebags over his shoulder and the other carry-
ing the baby’s bundle (the layette) and I, bringing up the rear
trying to remember where a road once was as recently as the

 s · THE QUARTERLY Bunnmrin  
day befor%and then to find myself floundering knee-deep in  
water. All things come to an end—and at last, we were almost E
at the point where the boat was tied. Suddenly from Mat came {
-—"How heavy are you, Miss Batten‘?" I had to acknowledge  
my 165 pounds, though what that had to do with the situation ’Y
I could not guess. I thought I was probably satisfying a little X  
curiosity since our age and weight seem to give rise to much I
speculation at times, but I was soon to realize it was not idle l
curiosity. We had reached the river; it was so inky black I
could neither see the boat or the river—but the latter made
itself plainly heard. ` l
I was assigned to the middle bench in a boat—I wonder if I
I can describe it? I called it a boat! It was a crudely built  
little craft that did duty as a boat—perhaps about 12 to 15 feet l
' long—about 2 to 2% feet wide and certainly not more than 12 E
inches deep. I got safely seated in the middle and after the }
boat finished rocking from such a heavy load, the two men took  
their places one in either end. It was impossible to see either l
but I felt violent vibrations so I realized we were moving in `
some direction. Suddenly, Mat spoke again, "Miss Batten, we’ll  
try to get you safely across, but if not, we’ll try to save you {
from drowning." I laughed; I really thought it was a joke  
and treated it as such and told them quite honestly I wasn’t  
afraid; I knew he was much too anxious about his wife to let  
anything happen to me. {
s
The next thing that happened, was a thud. We had reached .
the opposite bank and I was invited to climb out. The first  
thing I did was to miss my footing and found myself being l
hauled up from the river by two strong arms———Luckily it was {
` a shallow part of the river.  
At last I got to the bank. A new experience awaited me. X
They had a mule hitched, waiting for me, so I was helped aboard
` the mule and with instructions: "The mule will take you home," L
and, "Miss Batten, it’s to be a boy!" away I went. “ 
I always lose my sense of direction in the dark. This mule
certainly knew highways and byways my dear old "Snip" could
never have known. But after what seemed an eternity, we
1
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M. V. BRITANNIC of the WHITE STAR LINE
VVest Indies Cruise — Februar 27th - March 13th, 1932
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NASSAU —- PORT AU PRINCE — KINGSTON  
CARTAGENA — PANAMA CANAL —- HAVANA  

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Write for descriptive folders to the
FRONTIER NURSING SERVICE New York Office
63 East 57th Street, New York City
or \\'hite Star Line, 1 Broadway, New York City

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West Indies Cruise — February 27th—March 13m, 1932 FRONTIER NURSING SERVICE New York Office
NASSAU — PORT AU PRINCE -— KINGSTON   G3 East 57th Street, New York City
CAR.TAGENA—PANAMA CANAL—HAVANA   or \\'hite Star Line, l Broadway, New York City

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