The seed for the Lois Hole Hospital for Women was planted in its namesake more than 50 years ago.
Lois Hole was having a troubled pregnancy back in 1954 and she found herself at the Royal Alexandra Hospital. She ended up needing a C-section but doctors were unable to save the child, and after three days the baby girl died.
“Nineteen fifty-four was the true date of the inauguration of the Lois Hole Hospital,” said Hole’s son Jim at the hospital’s official opening on Thursday. “Because in 1954, from her depth of despair, mom planted a tiny seed that has grown into what we see here today. When I stand in this magnificent hospital, I feel that it’s the very embodiment of mom.”
Fifty years later, in August 2004, a small committee led by Dale Sheard, the hospital’s campaign chair, visited the then lieutenant-governor of Alberta and explained to her that they wanted to name a new hospital after her.
They showed Hole some drawings and asked her if she wouldn’t mind lending her good name to the women’s care facility.
“Lois was speechless for a minute and her eyes welled up in tears,” Sheard said. “And then she said, ‘If any hospital had asked me this, it would have been such an honour, but I’ve always thought of the Royal Alex as my hospital and my family’s hospital and that makes this so much more special.’
“So we all got a little choked up and Lois gave us all hugs.”
The Lois Hole Hospital for Women is part of the Robbins Pavilion at the Royal Alex. The five-floor hospital will provide care for women and families in Alberta, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.