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Pacific Stars and Stripes, Oct. 11, 1951

Army Nurse Helps Send Korean Waif Back to Recovery

YOKOHAMA- Barbara, a tiny, homeless, Korean girl is only a few months older than the war in her country.

When Capt. Ethelyn Hughes, Army nurse, of Bonaparte, Iowa, first found her, dirty, sick, and alone on the streets of Seoul, Barbara impressed her as "the most pitiful little soul in all of Korea" and Captain Hughes as a field hospital operating room supervisor had seen many pitiful souls.

Her parents apparently dead, Barbara’s ills were many. Maggots had collected in a flesh would around a compound fractured leg. They had also infested her ears and nose. She suffered from malnutrition and later developed an acute case of tetanus.

Captain Hughes took her to an Army hospital. There she was given a bath, probably her first in weeks, a hair cut, and medical attention. Under the watchful eye of several of Captain Hughes’ nurse friends, Barbara began to make remarkable recovery.

While Barbara grew healthy again at the hospital, Captain Hughes was back on duty with her unit, 8063rd MASH Mobile Army Surgical Hospital but every once in a while she managed to make a trip down to see the little girl. Finally, when Barbara was pretty much back to normal, Captain Hughes took her to an orphanage where she knew the waif would have good care. That’s where Barbara got her moniker. She had to have a name before she could be admitted, so Captain Hughes chose "Barbara," a title used for all unknown in the States.

"The last time I saw her," said the nurse, "she was a far cry from the pathetic little tot I had found in the streets. She was all dressed up in a stateside playsuit and little white shoes, as healthy and cute as could be."

Captain Hughes has since been rotated from Korea and is on duty in the operating room of Osaka General Hospital, but she sees to Barbara’s support by sending money and supplies regularly.


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