Oldest Living Patient Honored at Children's Hospital Los Angeles
Helen Baker Tours the Hospital 94 Years After Her Treatment
In 1917, 3-year-old Helen Baker went to Children's Hospital Los Angeles for minor neck surgery. At that time, the hospital had just settled into its 100-bed facility at Vermont and Sunset.
Now 97-years-old, Helen says, "I remember being so scared to get on the gurney on the way to surgery when one of the orderlies scooped me up and personally carried me to the surgical ward. He did the same thing for me when the surgery was over. I was so grateful to everyone at the hospital for their kindness."
That experience prompted Helen to give back and in 1948, she co-founded the Monrovia Guild. Today, the organization continues to raise awareness and support for the hospital in the San Gabriel Valley.
To recognize a lifetime of fundraising and volunteering efforts, the hospital held a ceremony in honor of Helen. Part of the festivities included a tour of the recently-opened Marion and John E. Anderson Pavilion at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, which is still at the Vermont and Sunset location but now houses 317-patient beds.
Even though it was so many years ago, Helen asserts she will never forget her first visit to the hospital.
"It was an experience that has shaped my entire life," she says.