Freda Holland, o soră medicală, a salvat din materinitatea ce era mistuită de foc 15 noi-născuţi. Întâmplător sau nu, la vremea aceea eram şi eu nou-născut, de zece zile. Mă aflam la Lipova în spital. Acum mă întreb ce fel de medalie ar fi primit pentru aceiaşi faptă pe vremea lui Dej. Dar pe vremea aceea nu erau atâţia nou-născuţi într-o maternitatea mică ca cea din Lipova. Aşa că, probabil că ar fi salvat, cam trei, să zicem cinci nou-născuţi. Presupunând că focul a izbucnit din cauze ce nu au depins de angajaţii maternităţii, probabil că Freda Holland nu ar fi fost acuzată de neglijenţă în serviciu, sabotaj sau mai rău, subminarea viitorului luminos al patriei noastre. Dar ce bine că Freda Holland era cetăţean britanic, nu român. A trăit 96 de ani, cu mult peste aşteptările din ţara noastră. Oare cu ce ar fi fost răsplătită de ţara noastră în secolul XXI? Dar unde mai vezi români care salvează pe cineva din foc pe gratis? Oare nu sunt un pic idealist?
Deci aşa după cum spune Telegraph.co.uk, Freda Holland who has died aged 96, was awarded the George Medal for her efforts to save 15 newborn babies in a fire at a maternity hospital in 1954.
Then a nursing sister aged 41, she and a colleague were on night duty at the Dellwood nursing home in Reading, Berkshire, when the fire broke out in the early hours of Easter Sunday, April 18.
The infants – none more than nine days old – were lying in their cots when Sister Holland, making a routine check at 3.55am, opened the door of the first-floor night nursery and found it full of smoke. „There were flames in one corner of the room,” reported The Daily Telegraph. „Two of the cots were on fire and the bedding was smouldering.”
Clasping a handkerchief over her face, Freda Holland dashed into the nursery and seized the nearest baby, Christopher Boulton, who had been born six hours earlier, from his blazing cot – only to see the child die in her arms.
Undaunted, she turned back into the flames, beating them away with her nurse’s cap, and managed to scoop up all 14 remaining babies from their cribs, one by one, passing them to her colleague, 28-year-old Sister Margaret Thomas, who was standing in the doorway.
In the course of the rescue, Freda Holland was badly burned on her face and arms and was choking on the dense, black smoke. „So thick were the smoke clouds in which Sister Holland had worked,” the Telegraph noted, „that firemen had to use breathing apparatus.”
As she lifted the last child clear, Freda Holland collapsed in a coma. She was treated at a nearby hospital for severe burns and the effects of smoke inhalation. In a neighbouring ward, three of the worst-affected babies had been placed in oxygen tents, but two died from smoke poisoning.