A tribute to Char

Charmaine ‘Char’ Cook (nee Whitney)

25 December 1951 – 24 June 2004

The Mater at Newcastle is a special hospital. Each department has a close-knit group of people working together. Our intensive care unit has seen many staff come and go. One of the ‘old timers’ we hoped would be with us for many more years is no longer with us.

Soon after meeting Char you realised what a lovely person she was. Char loved to share, especially her experiences, some in great detail.

She shared her vast knowledge in a way that didn’t threaten others, but empowered people, making them wiser.

And, of course, Char shared her love. She was willing to accept people whoever they were, and meet people wherever they were at. It didn’t matter who, when, or where, Char was always ready to listen, to offer advice or just give a hug.

Our unit will never be the same as it’s our Mater family, and we’ve lost a sister.
Char had an ability to comfort, support and nurture every grieving friend or relative. It made Char feel good that she was helping others.

Her name always featured in the thank you cards we received, a true acknowledgement that she had made a difference in people’s time of need.

Charmaine’s family and extended family were what mattered most. She loved them dearly and wanted to be there for each and every one of them. She loved being with them and we thank them for sharing Char with us.

From friends and colleagues at the Mater ICU, Newcastle