Former patient volunteers at Courtland rehab center

Published 12:01 pm Saturday, October 27, 2012


COURTLAND—The compassion and professional care that Frances Parker received at Courtland Health and Rehabilitation Center is being repaid.

No longer a patient, the 77-year-old volunteers at the Main Street nursing home.

From 2 to 3 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays, Parker can be found at Bingo.

“I help the ladies in Bingo and show them where the letters are,” the Sedley woman said. “I go around and see the patients and cut fool with them.”

One of the regular people Parker sees is Marie Raiford of Sedley.

“We knew each other a long time ago,” said Parker.

“I was a clerk at the old Roses in downtown Franklin,” said Raiford.

Parker also worked there after the store moved.

Raiford, 93, who’s been living at the nursing home since March 2011, enjoys the game and visits.

“I’ve got to do something to pass the time,” she said.

Parker said an infection that developed after gall bladder surgery in the spring required more care than Sentara Obici Hospital could provide.

Her condition was such that even getting to Courtland is a blur.

“I don’t really remember coming here,” said Parker, who spent seven weeks recuperating.

At first she could barely lift her legs. But determination and therapists enabled Parker to walk again.

“They told me ‘You’re going out of here with a cane, rather than a walker,’” she said.

Back at home, Parker made the decision to help at the center and decided to visit patients.

I’ve made quite a few friends there since I’ve left,” she said.

“Mrs. Parker is such an inspiration that she even visits our rehab department and encourages other residents to do their therapy,” said Bernadette Levy, the human resources manager.

“I’ve enjoyed it,” said Parker. “If it weren’t for the staff, I don’t think I would have made it. The staff was just as nice as can be.”

While Parker is doing her duty, husband William patiently waits in their car and reads. The couple has a son and four daughters, one of which lives with them, and nine grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren, with another one the way.