Being a humanitarian wasn't exactly what Dr. Jane Carswell set out to be when she attended medical school. That just came naturally...because of her strong faith, and her belief that with faith comes action.
And act she did! Over and over during the interviewing stage of my research I heard people say, using their own variations of the concept, "If you look deeply enough, Jane's fingerprints will be on just about every cause in the area." I often felt like I was peeling an onion, there were so many layers. I said that to one man I was interviewing and he stopped me. "No. An onion is not a good analogy. She's more like a diamond with many, many facets." I checked online for diamond facets and found they are the surfaces that refract the light within the diamond and give off the spectrum of colors. Yep. That's Jane in her humanitarian causes. Not an onion. A diamond. She saw a need and she didn't just complain or tsk her tongue. She acted, and that action refracted all kinds of light here in Lenoir, North Carolina.
Chapter 7, Interracial Relations. She had experienced discrimination, and as it reared its ugly head in her community, she stepped out of her comfort zone and stood up to it. She drew people together in a common good.
Chapter 8, Shelter Home. "He really hit her hard, right in front of me. But she wouldn't press charges. She said she had to go home and live with him, that she didn't have any place else to go," said by Jane after her experience in the maternity ward as she visited with a new mother. An enraged Jane set out to create a place for her, and the many others like her, a shelter from the abuse she witnessed in many women seeking medical attention.
|This portrait of Dr. Carswell hanging in the shelter home didn't make the cut in the book. The wooden carving that gives the name of the building, "The Jane Carswell House," didn't come out clear enough in the printing process, so we eliminated it.|
|The shelter home started a sign campaign to change from a culture of violence.|
Chapter 10, Caldwell Friends. A big brother/big sister style organization for early teens where Jane volunteered much of her time.
|Jane drew this picture of Caldwell Friends mascot Raydell.|
Chapter 12, Helping Hands. In response to seeing the un-and-under-insured citizens in the county go without proper medical care, she worked with several other concerned physicians and nurses to create this program.
Chapter 13, Cradle-to-Grave. End of life issues were important to Jane. Her church sponsored a residential complex for seniors, Koinonia, where Jane visited clients on her "apartment" calls. A major end of life project, Caldwell County Hospice began with a group of people sitting in Jane's house and brainstorming what could be possible.
|I took this picture of the Hospice Angel in the lawn of the Caldwell Hospice. |
It's not in the book, but I think it is a good example of what hospice means to so many people.
|Another picture that didn't make the book was this one from the inside front of the hospice facility. |
The building overlooks downtown Lenoir.
|Another view from the upstairs windows of Hospice |
with local landmark,
Hibriten Mountain, in the distance.
If you need the definition of humanitarian, look no further than the life of this distinguished physician. Dr. Jane Carswell equals humanitarian.
Catch of the day,