LEFT: Sister Justina preparing dinner with residents of Care and Share, a social service operation she founded.
RIGHT: The sister praying with a new resident at Care and Share.
"Equipped with a Stethoscope and Christ’s Love"
Dr. Carol Cottrill was honored for her dedication to providing people with health care and true Christian love. Along with her own practice in Lexington, Kentucky, the pediatric cardiologist ran two monthly clinics serving the rural poor in the nearby Appalachian Mountains. She also went on medical missions abroad and, along with her husband, Tom, served as a foster parent to more than twelve children. Dr. Cotrill’s dedication to human hearts began in 1961 when her fourth child, a daughter named Crystal, was born with a heart defect.
As a concerned mother, she began reading about the infant heart. Eventually, her desire to learn led her to medical school. After her first year there, her daughter died, but she went back to classes two months later because, she told herself, maybe she could save others. “You don’t change your ideals because something doesn’t work out for you personally,” she said. After medical school, Dr. Cottrill’s roots stayed firmly planted in Kentucky, and her goal remained helping heal little hearts, perhaps as a way to heal her own. At the time of her award, Dr. Cottrill was working from a wheelchair because of rheumatoid arthritis. Yet, her commitment to her patients and to the faith that fueled her remained stronger than ever.