To celebrate its 125th anniversary, a limited edition book on the history and people behind Waikato Hospital will be launched on December 1: The Village on the Hill: Celebrating 125 Years of Waikato Hospital.
A large section of the book – 48 pages – is devoted to historic photography, dating from 1889 to modern-day scenes.
“It’s a selection of some of the many thousands of images that document the hospital over the past 125 years,” says Mark Forster-King, Waikato DHB’s Team Leader of Photography and Audiovisual.
Waikato DHB has an extensive collection of clinical and non-clinical photographs – more than 700,000 on file – as well as archived photographs of early images of Waikato Hospital and its people.
Among the historic photos are never-before-publically-released photographs of the successful surgery to separate conjoined twins Sarah and Abbey Hose in 2004.
Although the family do not want to be contacted by media, the twins’ parents Callan Hose and Melissa Davies are supportive of the photographs appearing in the book.
“We’d like to acknowledge the amazing support and care we got from the surgical and anaesthetic team, led by Waikato Hospital paediatric surgeon Askar Kukkady (pictured right), and from the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU),” they say, in a joint statement. “The girls were lucky to be cared for by a truly dedicated team, and we had confidence in a positive outcome. It’s only fitting that some of the photographs be shared publically at this special anniversary.”
The seven-year-old girls are now doing well, attending school and enjoying life away from the media spotlight.
In the profile section of the book, Mark Forster-King and Askar Kukkady talk about their jobs, including their involvement in the conjoined twins’ historic surgery.
Many photographs featured in The Village on the Hill depict life behind the scenes at Waikato Hospital, including butchers breaking down meat, kitchen workers preparing meals, laundry staff dealing with overflowing piles of linen, carpenters and welders at work, and laboratory technicians looking through microscopes.
“Those photos are kind of neat,” says Forster-King. “Most patients, when they come to the hospital, tend to only see the clinical staff and treatment area, but what they rarely see are these things that go on behind the scenes, that make this place tick.”
There is a hint to the social side of things too: nurses dressed for a night on the town, sipping tea with the matron, or taking patients on a boat outing on Lake Rotoroa.
The aerial photographs taken of the hospital over the decades show how the campus has grown.
“Pictures show history as it was,” says Forster-King, who has been a hospital photographer for more than 20 years. “The images give you a sense of how things were – the technology of the day, as well as documenting the physical development of the hospital and campus, and they document the social history.”
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