Letter: Goodbye to East Wake Hospital

October 4, 2013 

Goodbye to East Wake Hospital

The 20-bed hospital in Zebulon opened April 17, 1961. Known as a “branch” of Wake Memorial Hospital, it was called Wendell Zebulon Hospital. Over the years, it became Eastern Wake Hospital, and finally Wake Med Zebulon.

In the nineties, the hospital status changed from acute care to skilled nursing care and rehabilitation. The late nurses Mary Temple and Ruby Hudson were instrumental in setting up the nursing and surgical/medical areas, as well as the labor and delivery areas. In later years, Ruby would receive an award known as “Nursing’s Great 100.”

Monday, Sept. 30, 2013, we closed the door of our local hospital. Past and present employees mingled in the hallways, sometimes laughing, sometimes crying. It would be our last time together. The hospital chaplain prayed during his visit.

Elizabeth Horton was one of the original nurses. She attended the reunion at age 96.

Original physicians Dr. Ben Thomas, Dr. George Tucker and Dr. Ralph Brashear are all deceased. Dr. Lee Sedwitz, chief surgeon, attended the reunion with his wife, Barbara.

I was blessed to have worked as Charlotte Fowler RN from 1961-1996. Many changes have occurred in nursing and medicine.

James Jones, lab and x-ray technician, retired at the reunion with 47 years of service. James was loved by patients of all ages.

For a long time I watched as each one walked out the door. They brought to my mind a group of soldiers – strong, but battle-weary. Mission completed. Job well done.

Charlotte Fowler Tristan


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