Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Hope Haven Leaves Rich Memories

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Hope Haven Leaves Rich Memories

Article excerpt

Byline: Dorothy Fletcher

During childhood, there are certain times we would just as soon forget-like when I broke my wrist playing line-soccer in Miss Thomas' fifth-grade class or when the measles prevented me from trick-or-treating.

But sometimes children have more serious problems, and in earlier times in Jacksonville, there was one place that provided compassionate, long-term medical care for those who needed it-Hope Haven Children's Hospital.

The first time I ever heard of Hope Haven was when I was in the third grade, and my best friend required three months of bed rest for rheumatic fever. Then I heard of it again in 1965 when Edward J. White, now 58 and a retired banker and educator, and John Leupold were both injured in the same motorcycle accident. White broke his right femur and Leupold, his left. Together they were at Hope Haven, first in traction, then body casts for 3 ' months.

"Hope Haven was a great place," White recalled. "That's because we had visiting teachers who did a wonderful job keeping us up with our studies. Our teacher was Mrs. Shirt, I think, and when we were finally able to go back to our regular school, we felt as if we were way ahead of the others in class.

"I do remember that on Thursday nights they always served liver, and thankfully, John's mother would bring us barbecue from across the street on those nights. I also remember a wonderful old couple who came around frequently with a cart of arts and crafts projects for us to make."

According to promotional literature provided by Laurie Price, now executive director of Hope Haven Children's Clinic and Family Center, the hospital had been founded in 1926 near the Trout River to serve malnourished children and those with tuberculosis. In 1940, Hope Haven moved to a new facility on Atlantic Boulevard near University Boulevard where children with polio were treated. By the time polio was under control, more than 20,000 patients had passed through the hospital's doors. …

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