When a Stay at Greenwich Hospital Becomes a Stroll Down Memory Lane

It’s not often that a hospital stay leads to a walk down memory lane. But that’s exactly what happened to Arthur Thomas of Greenwich, when he was admitted to Greenwich Hospital last week.

Arthur Thomas holds a photograph of the plaque that honors his late wife, Charlotte Bernadette Harriau Thomas, RN, who was a nurse at Greenwich Hospital for 36 years.

The 95-year-old wasn’t concerned about his health. Instead, he was focused on viewing the plaque honoring his late wife, Charlotte Thomas, RN, a beloved nurse at the hospital for 36 years. Thomas made a generous donation to the hospital several years ago to honor Charlotte and her legacy.

His wish was granted last Friday, when Thomas gathered with neighbors, nurses and hospital staff to view the plaque and reminisce about Charlotte. The plaque hangs in the hospital’s Administration suite, next to a display of miniature historic nurses’ caps. Two hospital employees from Facilities, Jaime Reillo and Mark Matthews, who helped locate the plaque, surprised Thomas with a framed picture of the plaque as a keepsake.

Charlotte Bernadette Harriau Thomas – named employee of the year in 2000 – worked at Greenwich Hospital from 1974 to 2010. Although caps had almost completely disappeared from nursing apparel in the United States by the late 1980s, Charlotte proudly wore her cap until the day she retired.

“My wife Charlotte always wore her cap. Of all the symbols that define nursing, the cap is the pre-eminent one,” said Thomas. “Charlotte delighted to care for patients in her white nurse’s cap and dress.”

He became tearful when Reillo, who worked with Thomas’ wife, mentioned that “Miss Charlotte was a highly dedicated nurse.”

“I am so happy to be at Greenwich Hospital,” added Thomas. “The finest people in the world are working here.”

A close-up of the plaque honoring Charlotte Bernadette Harriau Thomas, RN.