Volunteer offers comfort

Published 7:54 pm Monday, January 16, 2012

Marie Ingram has worked and volunteered at Vaughan Regional Medical Center for 34 years. After a career working in the hospital’s admitting department, Ingram now serves as a volunteer, working in the hospital’s gift shop each Wednesday. -- Desiree Taylor

When most people spend their whole life trying to find their purpose through different career paths, one Selma native has spent hers caring for others.

Vaughn Regional Medical Center volunteer Marie Ingram has worked and volunteered for a combined 34 years inside the hospital, a place she can’t seem to walk away from.

“I worked in Admitting for 17 years and volunteered for about 14 or 15 years,” Ingram said. “I’d been here 17 years — it felt like home; I knew everyone and it felt good to see everyone again.”

Every Wednesday morning, Ingram finds solace inside the hospital’s gift shop.

“I enjoy working the gift shop, you see a lot of the public and you get to talk to them too … they have time to talk,” Ingram said smiling. “I (also) deliver cards and flowers … escort patients to different departments.”

When not volunteering, Ingram enjoys reading.

“I read, mostly anything,” Ingram said. “I work puzzles — any kinds of puzzles. Diagramless, just like a crossword puzzle except you don’t have a diagram, is my favorite.”

A widow to her husband James of 30 years, Ingram is also a six-year mouth cancer survivor. Being a survivor, Ingram said, is one thing she wears proudly.

“Doctors removed parts of my jaw — I have a prosthesis,” Ingram said about her surgery. “My children say it didn’t stop me from talking. I’m glad to be here.”

Ingram is the mother of five children — Sue, Rosa, Robert, Keith and Anne, 15 grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren and a new great-great grandchild born November 2011.

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