Monday, April 19, 2004

Patients find a caring friend in Edith Farkas



By Janet Wetzel
Enquirer contributor

Edith Farkas has spent most of her life nursing the sick. At age 90, she still does.

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Edith Farkas is 90 years old and still volunteers three days a week at Jewish Hospital in Kenwood.
(Glenn Hartong photo)
Though she's still licensed as a nurse, she no longer dispenses medication or gives shots. But caring for others remains a priority.

Three days a week before 7 a.m. Farkas goes to Jewish Hospital in Kenwood. As a volunteer Patient Service Representative, she asks new patients if their needs are being met. And when worried patients or families are looking for a listening ear, Farkas gladly makes time.

"Everybody counts, and everybody has a story," she said. "I enjoy listening and helping them through this rough time."

The Roselawn widow, who has hearing problems and needs a cane because of arthritis, also spends hours each week keeping refrigerators on two floors cleaned, organized and fully stocked.

"What an asset," said Connie Broxterman, a registered nurse at Jewish Hospital. "She's not only a warm, loving, generous person, she just does so much good. She loves helping patients."

The hospital staff "is like a second family to me. I get far more than I give," said Farkas.

Her nursing career spanned more than five decades, ending with private duty before she retired 15 years ago.

During those years, she recalls working a case with Dr. Henry Heimlich, namesake of the Heimlich Maneuver. And she enjoyed hearing stories about life in the White House while nursing Charlie Taft, former Cincinnati mayor and son of President William Howard Taft.

Farkas, who also has volunteered at Ohav Shalom Synagogue, once worried how she'd handle retirement.

"When people ask when I'll stop working, I tell them, never. This gives meaning to my life. I love being in the atmosphere where I spent my whole career."

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Do you know a Hometown Hero - someone in your community dedicated to making it a better place to live and helping others? E-mail Janet Wetzel at jjwetzel@siscom.net or fax to 513-755-4150.




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