This month, Lexington Medical Center celebrates its 40th anniversary. We opened as a small county hospital on January 6, 1971. Today, we’ve grown into a modern medical complex with state-of-the-art technology and an unsurpassed culture of caring. Each day this month, we’ll share a story from our hospital’s history book.
Lillian Hulon’s Generous Gift
Today, the intersection of Interstate 26 and Highway 378 boasts the sprawling campus of Lexington Medical Center. But before any buildings ever existed, the land belonged to a West Columbia woman named Lillian Hulon. Her kindness and generosity helped the dream of a hospital for Lexington County become reality.
In the 1960s, Mrs. Hulon donated more than 22 acres of land to Lexington County on two simple conditions: first, the land had to be used for a hospital; second, she and her husband Harvey Hulon could live out their lives in the care of the hospital. The Hulons, who had no children, knew they would have a place that would take care of them in their retirement.
When the hospital opened in 1971, Mr. and Mrs. Hulon moved in permanently. Because the hospital had all private rooms, they were “neighbors.” Hospital records show Mrs. Hulon lived in Room 324 and Mr. Hulon lived in Room 323.
“Harvey would walk into Lillian’s room every morning and kiss her three times on the lips,” said Pat Blume, a nurse who worked at the hospital from 1971 to 2009. “It was so special.”
Nurses from the early years of the hospital talk about Mrs. Hulon going out to run errands, getting dressed up to attend church each Sunday and taking care of her beloved violets in her room.
They remember Mr. Hulon walking the hospital hallways with a cane. The couple stayed for the rest of their lives. Mr. Hulon died in the early 1970s. Mrs. Hulon died in 1976.
The story of the Hulons is significant because it established the precedent that Lexington Medical Center takes care of its community.