Mommy Paz: Modern-day Florence Nightingale dies

BY FR. BRIAN GORE
Mommy Paz's Image gallery

Last Sunday, “Mommy Paz Torres,” as she was affectionately known to many, died peacefully here in Bacolod City. She was 90 years old.

She died unrecognized by her city and province, which she served so well as chief nurse of the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital for many years right up until her retirement.

She was a modern day Florence Nightingale. Even in retirement she continued to help hundred of poor patients coming mostly from remote areas of southern Negros.

I first meet Mommy Paz in January 1970, while I was finishing my language school studies at the Redemptorist Monastery. I used to go with the Apostolic Ladies of the Redemptorist Church to visit the poor patients in the Provincial Hospital to practice my Ilonggo. Mommy Paz was our contact person. We had been friends ever since.

Mommy Paz became our liaison person with the hospital for all the poor patients coming from the south. She was a godsend for us priests who were besieged on a daily basis for help from our poor parishioners in need of medical care. In the 70s and 80s there was very limited medical care in the south for seriously ill patients.

Those who could not afford to go to Bacolod just went home to die. Mommy Paz saved many hundreds from certain death.

Her loving care for our poor patients certainly took a burden off us priest. Mommy Paz accessed what help there was available from the hospital and what was lacking was provided by a special fund in her care from the priests. Even when she retired she continued to go to the hospital, often daily, to follow up our patients.

On a very personal note Mommy Paz used to visit me and my companions (Negros 9) almost on a daily basis at the Provincial Jail during our imprisonment. She would also extend her medical help to any sick inmate in the jail. She never waned in her support for us during those difficult times.

Generations of young nurses passed through her supervision at the Provincial Hospital Dormitory. Around the world today there will be many a tear shed at her passing.

In recent years she suffered the various ailments of old age. She bore these patiently and with great faith. She would often say to me “I am ready to go”. May she now enjoy eternal peace.

“Come good and faithful servant – I was sick and you cared for me.”(Matthew ch.25)

Mommy Paz will be buried at the Bago City Cemetery after a mass at the Airport Subdivision Church in Bacolod City today.*

Mommy Paz's Image gallery

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