A Wagga woman has been remembered as a pioneer of nursing who saved countless lives through her work and education.
Margaret Brain, known to most as Marg or Margie Dennis, passed away peacefully surrounded by her loved ones on Friday night at age 72.
She met her husband to be, Rob Brain, after moving in one door down from him on Best Street. He said it was clear from the beginning that she would accomplish a lot in her career.
"She got bogged out on a dirt road, and she was washing her car with a sponge because she didn't have a hose," Mr Brain said. "My brother saw her and told me to go wash the car, and that's how we met."
The "soulmates" had one son, Phil, who used to run a vineyard in Victoria where Ms Dennis loved to help.
Ms Dennis joined the Wagga Base Hospital team fresh-faced in 1970 following her training at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney.
She embarked on a lengthy career that included many accomplishments, including becoming the first nurse practitioner for the southwest region in NSW and one of the first 10 state-wide.
Ms Dennis also analysed why recovery after traumatic incidents was slower in regional and rural areas than in the city.
However, she soon realised it was about getting the patients to major hospitals as quickly as possible and became part of the program to target that issue.
IN OTHER NEWS:
"She would fly out Friday night, come back Sunday night and then start a shift," Mr Brain said. "She was so dedicated."
Colleague and friend Anne Hawkins said Ms Dennis was a powerhouse that treated every patient as a member of her family.
"Her family was the love of her life, and her patients were a close second," she said.
"She could be fierce, but she was always compassionate. Even now, some of her colleagues would still say, 'what would Sister Dennis do'. Her standards of care were always exceptional."
Wagga MP Joe McGirr and his partner Kerin Fielding met Ms Dennis when they moved to Wagga in the 1980s. Later on, Ms Dennis and Dr McGirr were running the emergency department side by side.
"It would always be interesting hopping into the back of an ambo with Marg Dennis for patient retrievals," he said.
"You knew you always had to be on your best game. She certainly wasn't afraid of expressing her opinions, but it was always for the benefit of the patient ... she saved thousands of lives."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: