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Florence Nightingale Deserved a Personalized Baby Gift

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May 12, 1820 is the birthday of Florence Nightingale and the National Nurses Day has since taken this day to end the week long celebration to recognize the contributions that nurses and nursing makes to the community.
Born in Florence, Italy to the wealthy landowner William Nightingale and his wife Fanny, Florence was treated as her father's friend and companion.
She was taught Greek, Latin, French, German, Italian, history, philosophy and mathematics.
At the age of twenty five after refusing to marry several suitors, Florence told her parents she wanted to become a nurse.
As nursing was associated with the working class women her parents were totally opposed to the idea.
Finally, in 1851 at the age of thirty one Florence's father gave her permission to train as a nurse.
She studied to become a nurse at the Institute of Protestant Deaconesses in Kaiserwerth, Germany and in two years was appointed resident lady superintendent of a hospital for invalid women in London.
The Crimean War (Russia invasion of Turkey, 1853) brought Britain and France to the aid of Turkey.
Within a few weeks an estimated 8,000 men were suffering from cholera and malaria.
At that time there was considerable prejudice against women's involvement in medicine.
However, when The Times publicized the fact that a large number of British soldiers were dying of cholera there was a public outcry, and the government was forced to change its mind.
Nightingale volunteered her services and was eventually given permission to take a group of thirty-eight nurses to Turkey.
Nightingale's views on reforming military hospitals were interpreted as an attack by the Military officers and doctors and she was made to feel unwelcome.
Until she used her contacts at The Times to report details of the way that the British Army treated its wounded soldiers, Nightingale received very little help from the military.
After a great deal of publicity, thanks to John Delane, the editor of the newspaper, Nightingale was given the task of organizing the barracks hospital after the battle of Inkerman and by improving the quality of the sanitation she was able to dramatically reduce the death-rate of her patients.
When Florence returned to England in 1856 she was considered a national heroine.
Due to the shocking lack of hygiene and elementary care that the British Army men received, she decided to begin a campaign to improve the quality of nursing in military hospitals.
As a result of her evidence provided to the 1857 sanitary Commission the formation of the Army Medical College took place.
In 1859 she published two books and with the support of wealthy friends and again John Delane, she was able to raise enough funds to found the Nightingale School and Home for Nurses at St.
Thomas's Hospital and improve the quality of nursing.
In later life Florence Nightingale suffered from poor health and in 1895 went blind.
Soon afterwards, the loss of other faculties meant she had to receive full-time nursing.
Although a complete invalid she lived another fifteen years before her death in London on 13th August, 1910.
If personalized baby gifts were in vogue in 1820 what an awesome heirloom find that world be!
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