If your baby was born, or you were born in Regina, chances are you have heard of Sally Elliott.
For decades, Elliott has used her love for babies and career as a nurse to help thousands of women navigate childbirth and motherhood, teaching prenatal classes at the YMCA.
“Signing up for her classes at the YMCA was one of the first things I did when finding out I was pregnant because I heard so many positive things about them,” said Shala Ruopp, who attended the class in the summer.
However, it is not just her wealth of knowledge driving women and partners to her classes, it is her sense of creativity, passion and humour — easing the uncertainty and unknown for those embarking on a new adventure.
“She was always so full of energy — jumping on tables — and could turn any bad day into a good one with her contagious smile and sense of humour,” Ruopp said.
“Every Tuesday, I looked forward to her class. Some were hilarious, some were not so hilarious, but they were real and honest.”
When Sarah Smith, another class goer, heard about Elliott’s recent health issues, she immediately wanted to show her appreciation.
Through the Hospitals of Regina Foundation, Smith set up a donation fund to help purchase a rocking chair for the Labour and Birth Unit at the Regina General Hospital in Elliott’s name.
“I feel like I needed to do something to honour Sally. She’s been such a huge part of so many people in the community and all of those moms and babies who end up at the hospital, she ends up visiting them,” Smith said.
“I came to the idea of a rocking chair because moms and dads can use it. I reached out to the hospital and they helped me connect with the Hospitals of Regina Foundation and we formulated a plan.”
So far, it has raised more than $5,000. With the cost of the chair being about $2,300, the rest of the money will go into the hospital’s labour unit.
“We’re very grateful to Sally for lending her name to this effort. She’s a long time serving practitioner in Regina and southern Saskatchewan and has helped countless mothers with new babies,” said Dino Sophocleous, Hospitals of Regina Foundation CEO and president.
“It’s a great community initiative, honouring a significant partner in the lives of many people.”
Smith said the community response has been beyond anything she could have ever imagined.
“I just thought it would be 20 or 30 moms who would contribute to it with me, but it’s reached so far beyond that. I’ve been overwhelmed by this,” Smith said.
“It’s really nice to see how many people really care about Sally.”
Ruopp said anyone who knows Sally or had the privilege of crossing paths with her knows how genuine, kind, down to earth and empathetic she is.
“You don’t meet too many people in your life that you can say, ‘Wow, she is one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met,’ and to me, Sally is one of those people,” Ruopp said.
“I am sure everyone would agree with me saying she is one of the most selfless people.”
Due to her health, Elliott has stepped away from some of her duties at the YMCA. Global News reached out to Elliott on multiple occasions but was not able to speak to her.