Fireside Chat: Maude Pettus and Linda Bordner

Maude Pettus as Head Nurse at Hsiang-Ya (Xiangya) Hospital from 1940-45. As a precocious four-year-old, Maude announced to her family that she would one day go to China as a missionary. Years later, when her husband, Dr. Winston Pettus, came home one night and proposed going to China to serve at Hsiang-ya Hospital with the Yale-China Association, Maude’s immediate response was, “China!! I’ve wanted to go there since I was four years old!” After moving to Changsha in Hunan Province in 1940, she and her husband served the Chinese people tirelessly during the war years, treating everyone—and even a horse!—who came to the hospital. They had two children, Ann, born in Changsha, and Sarah Louise, born in the USA. Win, as he was known to his friends, made the ultimate sacrifice, giving his life in 1945 on a flight to Yunnan Province to deliver medical supplies.

After Win’s death, Maude returned to the USA, but maintained her love for and connection to China and Yale-China Association. In 2001, Maude joined the Yale-China Centennial Delegation to China, and in 2012 was honored with the Yale-China Award at the hallowed age of 98. And then in October of 2014, Maude again joined the Yale-China delegation to China to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Xiangya School of Medicine. It was at this time—at 100 years old—that Maude first climbed the Great Wall!!

Maude will share reminiscences of her life in Changsha during the war years, her recent trip to Changsha to celebrate the Xiangya School of Medicine’s 100th anniversary, and her connection to China. In addition, copies of the book “Ten Good Years” will be available for purchase and signing by Maude.

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