Bryan is known as the 'Cake Lady' because she used to bake a cake for the volunteers every Thursday. (Source: WECT)
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) -
After 53 years of helping patients, 94-year-old Peggy Bryan is retiring from volunteering at the hospital.
Bryan started volunteering in 1961 at the old James Walker Memorial Hospital; she then transferred to New Hanover Memorial Hospital when it was built.
"I could have kissed every brick, I loved it so much," Bryan recalled. "We just needed the room and we needed more rooms for our patients."
New Hanover Memorial Hospital was later renamed the New Hanover Regional Medical Center, while Bryan was volunteering there.
Bryan helped discharge patients, deliver flowers, and later manned the phones.
Thursday, her fellow volunteers threw her a retirement party to celebrate all of her hard work.
They say she was like the "mom" of the volunteer group, and was known as the "cake lady" because she used to bake a cake for the volunteers every week.
"It was just a thing that I enjoyed doing and everybody looked forward to it," Bryan said. Her fellow volunteers said it was like a party and a very special treat.
"Here Peggy was coming in to volunteer, take care of patients, take care of families, and she was so thankful for the friendships she had that in addition to volunteering she made cake for us to thank us for letting her be here," remembers Eileen McConville, the Director of Volunteer Services.
"To have a volunteer who just is not only giving her personal time, but to give her talent and love to her crew, making sure everyone was happy and had a nice piece of cake it was very welcoming and definitely kept the volunteer crowd together a long time," McConville continued.
Bryan said one of her favorite things about volunteering was delivering flowers to patients.
"They would jump up and down so much. They loved those flowers and anything else that people send," she said. "It just did my heart good."
She also said that she loved working with her fellow volunteers.
"You make a lot of friends that you would not have made," Bryan said. "I just loved it."