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Letters: A nurse who touched many lives

June 03, 2012

Re "In tune with their needs," Column One, May 30

On a spring morning in 1973, my 7-year-old son Robbie and I entered the lobby of the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center's children's cancer center. A young nurse came to meet us; her name was Barbara Britt.

That afternoon, I was informed that Robbie had acute lymphoblastic leukemia and needed to be hospitalized immediately. Thus began five years of Robbie's living with cancer — and the constant presence and support of the wonderful Barbara Britt. Robbie loved and trusted Barbara, which helped him feel safe during the ups and downs of his treatment.

She always made herself available for our questions and concerns, and I depended on her guidance, especially near the end of Robbie's fight.

I will always be grateful that Barbara was there for Robbie. Bless you, Barbara — the world is a better place for you.

Liz Barbour

Huntington Beach

Thank you for your beautiful piece on Britt. I had the pleasure of working with her 30 years ago at a facility that serves children with life-threatening illnesses. At the time, a personal friend of mine was dying, and I confided to Barbara that I felt helpless, not knowing what to do or say around her.

Her advice: Go to her. Tell her that. Believe me, you'll never regret it.

Thankfully I did just that, and my friend was so grateful because she said she knew everyone was scared and no one was coming to visit anymore. It broke the ice, and we were both able to talk openly, and cry and laugh and clear the air.

Jan Ensley

Long Beach

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