After almost thirty years of comforting thousands of sick children, Mount Druitt Hospital’s much-loved Children’s Ward Nursing Unit Manager Mildred Villason is hanging up her uniform and retiring.
Mildred commenced work at the hospital when it opened in 1982, after spending four years at Royal North Shore Hospital working with children and families.
She was drawn to Western Sydney when she was enticed by the opening of a brand new hospital and children’s ward at Mount Druitt.
It was at Mount Druitt Hospital where she was labelled the ‘quiet achiever’ and was well-known for her gentle nature and ability to transfer calmness onto the tiny patients she cared for.
“I have made some wonderful friends, met caring families and cheeky and adorable patients over the years,” said Mildred.
“I will miss everyone dearly.”
Former nurse and friend of Mildred, Willie Hobbs said that in the early days, certain rooms were known as ‘Mildred’s rooms’, as it was in those rooms Mildred cared for many sick babies.
“Sometimes we had up to eight babies in these rooms and Mildred would give adoring care to each of them,” Willie said.
“She would have those babies washed, wrapped, fed, medications given and there was never a sound from the room.
“Her calm and caring nature flowed through the room and I think those babies responded accordingly,” Willie said.
Over time Mildred has developed a strong relationship with many families whose children she nursed as babies or young kids and many who now have children of their own.
Blacktown and Mount Druitt hospitals’ Director of Nursing and Midwifery Danielle Levis said Mildred will be sadly missed by the staff, patients and the community.
“Mount Druitt is a small community and some of the most fragile and sick babies and children have been cared for in the ward,” Danielle said.
“The staff in the ward under the expertise of Mildred have helped anxious and worried parents feel relieved and satisfied that their babies are receiving the best possible care,” Danielle said.
“Mildred has been involved in significant change in the hospital including, the implementation of eMR (electronic medical record), the establishment of the Fairy Garden, introduction of a play therapist and volunteers in the children’s play area, facilitated and source many donations for digital items, electronics and games for the children.
“We wish her good health and happiness during her well-deserved retirement and to enjoy spending time with her husband, three children and six grandchildren,” Danielle said.
A surprise farewell was held for Mildred as a tribute for her dedication and commitment to healthcare in western Sydney.
There were a few old and familiar faces of nursing staff who returned to the hospital to farewell their loving colleague, some flying in from New Zealand!
Former Children’s Ward nurses Kathleen Weir, Sharon Wilkinson and Willie Hobbs commended Mildred for her passion, spirit and fabulous cooking.