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Keller: Ochsner’s Mrs. Betty is truly unforgettable

The Readers Digest has an article in every issue titled “The Most Unforgettable Character I’ve Ever Met.” One such person is the greeter who welcomed Jeanne and me as we entered Ochsner Hospital to visit a friend. She was a tall, slender black woman with a Godly spirit.  

Besides her appearance, another thing that got my attention was the jacket she was wearing. It was decorated with over 100 different medals representing places, organizations and patients which were given to her by people she met.

Jeanne was seated close to the greeter’s station while I visited my friend. After the visit, I took a seat next to Jeanne and observed the greeter talking to another employee and a very tall gentleman.

Being the curious person I am, I approached the two ladies. Betty Wells was the greeter’s name, and her friend was Joyce Anthony, also an employee.

The man was Jim Singleton, former New Orleans councilman.

We chatted for a few minutes, and I asked Betty how long she worked at Ochsner.

“Thirty-five years,” she said, proudly, “and I love it!”

“How long have you been greeting people?”

“Five years, but prior to that, I spent 30 years in Environmental Services. I was going to retire, but they asked me to stay and be the greeter.”

Wanting to know more about this special lady, I found out she was 79 years old, born and raised in New Orleans, had graduated in 1954 from Gaudet Episcopal High School and attended Southern University.

She had three children, (two girls and a boy), five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Her husband Andrew died in 1970.

She talked about her church, Rayne Memorial United Methodist Church, located on St. Charles and General Taylor.

She said that if it had not been for her church family and Ochsner Hospital, she doesn’t know what would have happened to her after Katrina.

“How’s your health?”

“Pretty good. I only take one little blood pressure pill. After Katrina a contractor cheated me out of $10,000 for kitchen cabinets. That’s the reason for the blood pressure pill.”

Jeanne and I prayed with Mrs. Betty, and I asked permission to write about our meeting and the blessing it was for us.

She’s a good example that positive people are more grateful, complain less, live longer, enjoy life more, don’t get sick as often and recover faster when they do.

May God continue to bless this special lady!

If you have any questions or comments, please write to Get High on Life, P.O. Drawer U, Reserve, LA 70084, call 985-652-8477 or e-mail: hkeller@comcast.net.