Obituary

Green Obit photoRuth, M. Christina of Winchester, MA, formerly of Nakuru, Kenya; Ireland; Scotland; BC and Alberta, Canada, peacefully passed away at her home on October 24, 2015, age 60. Beloved wife of 23 years to Gerard Ruth; loving sister of Freddy, Christopher, Marcelline, and Jane Auguste, Nakuru, Kenya; Dorothy Andrady, London, England; Rosita Kearton of Melbourne, Australia, and the late Marilyne of Nakuru, Kenya. Devoted daughter of deceased Marcel and Sarah Auguste, Nakuru, Kenya.  Also survived by many nieces, nephews and cousins in England, Australia, Kenya and the Seychelles.

Christina Ruth, a NICU R.N, cared for and touched the lives of thousands of newborns in Calgary Alberta, and Boston, Massachusetts.  Her nursing values, altruism, and dedication to the profession is deeply felt to this day by her fellow caregivers, loved ones, the families of her patients, and even her patients who thanked her later in life for the nurturing and care they received at a critical juncture in their lives. Christina Auguste was born in Nakaru, Kenya of Seychellian parents.  Raised to speak English, Creole and Swahili, she was well adept to engage with the world by leaving Kenya at 18 to be trained as a nurse at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, Ireland.   She then pursued training to be a midwife at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (formerly Southern General), followed by a Neurological ICU certification. Post certification, she was once again on the move and became an R.N at the Regional Hospital in Prince George, BC, Canada. She then accepted a NICU R.N position at Calgary’s Foothill Hospital in Alberta, Canada where she excelled and was quickly promoted to Team Leader.

In 1991 she accepted a NICU R.N position at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) in Boston. The following year, she married Gerard Ruth, an Irish emigrant who she first met in 1989. For 23 years she proudly worked as a Brigham NICU nurse, and even moonlighted for a time at Winchester Hospital’s Special Care Nursery.  During this time she received multiple awards and recognition for her excellence in care culminating in the 2008 New England RBNA award for “Excellence in Nursing.” But Christina would be quick to point out that awards did not motivate her, as she was the consummate team player who possessed boundless energy and a laser like focus to selflessly and cooperatively care for her tiny patients. Her demands for cleanliness, memory prowess, and her attention to detail were legendary and she exuded confidence in her ability to communicate complex medical issues in a way that bonded and endeared her to caregivers and patients families alike.  These bonds crossed over socio-economic, racial, gender, and ethnic, backgrounds. She was, as she would put it, “the first black friend,” of many who crossed her path, so leaves the world, in better shape, by bridging the human divide through kindness, humor and gracefulness.

Christina loved working in the BWH NICU. Interwoven into the fabric of her life, she proudly described BWH and its competency to anyone who would listen, and they would listen as she could spontaneously melt hearts and initiate seamlessly life long network of enduring friendships. The NICU was not her only passion.  She was the first to start a book club in the NICU, sipped from the Stanley Cup, and played golf with gusto all over the world.  An accomplished knitter, she was often found nestled in her “home from home” Another Yarn knit shop in Winchester.  Her finished products kept hundreds around the world warm, fashionable and stylish. She loved the quotation that “we can do no great things, only small things with great love.”  These “small things” often turned out to be larger in scope for her as she dedicated all her energies to charitable giving and helping others.  Christina continued to be a nurse even after her illness prevented her from working at BWH. This was accomplished by advising her caregivers on best practices for her care, encouraging them to advance their medical careers, engaging with her NICU peers and former patient families, or using her extensive network to channel attention to medical challenges she or others faced.

Christina exceeded all expectations to the very end, but she did not fly solo.  Her husband and families gratefully extend a heartfelt thanks to the care she received from her respective families, friends, neighbors, and professional caregivers at Winchester Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, DFCI, Concord Health Care Center, MGH, VNA Hospice Care, BWH, Collective Healing Center (Winchester), and especially her NICU family at BWH, who reciprocated in kind the love she compassionately gave all of them. They also acknowledge the contributions of Another Yarn Knit shop, Apex Photo Lab in Woburn, Bayview Building Services in Wakefield, Cafe Escadrille, Costello Funeral Home, Elegant Affair, La Patisserie, M&M Landscaping, Nijlane Creations in Wilmington, Phoenix Salon, Revel, Rose Of Sharon at Blossom Hill in Dunstable, St. Joseph Church in Medford, T&K Nails, Wildwood Cemetery, Winchester Fire and Police Departments, and Winchester Limited Jewelers.

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