Most of us have been to the Nelson Hospital for ourselves or friends and family but how much do we really know about it?
The hospital’s history stretches all the way back to 1840s when a lean-to was attached to the barracks built on Church Hill.
The first permanent hospital sat on the corner of Examiner and Rutherford Streets.
It could only fit 11-12 patients but contained so many borers that it was eventually burnt down.
A replacement hospital was built on Waimea Road and opened in July 1869.
The new building contained a ward for both genders as well as an overflow ward and only one operating room.
Miss Susan Dalton, was the first matron of the hospital and the solid, English nurse was said to do the work of 15 nurses.
The medical practices of the day could now be seen as rudimentary or unsanitary but it wasn’t uncommon for doctors to be called to the homes of pregnant women to face births with complications aided with nothing but an inexperienced nurse, a few candles for light and some instruments boiling in a pot over the fire.
Thankfully, both practices and facilities have been developed since then with all the current hospital buildings earthquake strengthened and only dating back to after World War II.