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Barbara Brown

Holy Cross Hospital | 50th Anniversary Stories | Karen Gayle Brown
Karen Gayle Brown, age 11

Lost on the Way to the Operating Room

My daughter, Karen Gayle Brown, was 11 years old and had a bad earache in mid-January, 1963. I took her to see her Ear, Nose and Throat specialist, Peter Noble Lombard, MD, who was one of the best at the time, and was also the first president of Holy Cross Hospital’s Medical and Dental Staff. 

Dr. Lombard said Karen had a severe ear infection and needed to have her ears lanced. He said to go to Holy Cross Hospital, which had just opened earlier that week, and he’d meet us in the lobby.

We got to the lobby and it was practically deserted! Dr. Lombard wasn’t there—he had apparently already gone to the OR—so I explained our situation to the receptionist. Soon enough, Karen was on a gurney and we were walking down basically empty halls. And walking. And walking. 

Karen and her mother, Barbara Brown

Finally, the young man pushing Karen said to me, ‘Where IS the Operating Room, anyway?’ Karen and I looked at each other in amazement, and I said, ‘You’re asking ME?!?!”

Needless to say, we eventually got pointed in the right direction and everything turned out fine.  Over the years, my kids were in and out of Holy Cross Hospital’s ER, but we never had such a funny experience again. I’m 83 now, and Karen and I still get a good laugh over it!

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