It was revealed that Marianne Stöger (87) has been selected as the 48th Korean winner of the “Florence Nightingale Medal” which is awarded by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
Marianne Stöger was born in Austria and graduated from a nursing school in Innsbruck. After her graduation she decided to go to Sorok Island to help the people with Hansen disease living there, because she had heard that there was a shortage of nurses, even though she had no connection to Korea. She served the people on Sorok Island for over 40 years starting from 1962. She cleaned the patient’s pus with her bare hands, applied medicine and devoted herself to serve the people there. In 2005 she returned home to Innsbruck, since her age and health made it difficult to continue her volunteer work and she did not want to become a burden to the people she had helped. She left Korea with only a farewell letter to her acquaintances. Marianne is also an honorary member of the Korean Nursing Association.
According to the Red Cross the award is a result of her noble spirit to serve across borders and dedication to the healing of the Hansen’s disease patients and their return to society she has shown.
The Florence Nightingale Medal was created by the ICRC in 1912 to commemorate Nightingale’s dedication during the Crimean War. Since 1920 every 2 years not more than 50 people that have done outstanding work in nursing are selected to receive the Florence Nightingale Medal.