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Retired Belgium nurse sees herself as
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Godelieve Franssens (right, photo courtesy of St. Joseph's Hospital
Taipei, May 13 (CNA) She is single and never had children, but Godelieve Franssens, 80, describes herself as "the mother with the most kids in Taiwan," having helped deliver countless babies in Yunlin County over the past half century.

Franssens arrived in Taiwan from Belgium in 1967 when she was in her 20s, later working as a nurse at St. Joseph's Hospital in Huwei Township, Yunlin, where she has lived for the past 50 years.

In 1966, "one of my good friends in Belgium told me that a bishop in Taiwan was urgently looking for a doctor, or a nurse," she said, explaining why she came to Taiwan, United Evening News reported Saturday.

All she brought with her at the time was a statue of St. Maria her mother gave her and a suitcase, she said.

After arriving, the devout Catholic started to help deliver babies at the hospital, which was co-founded in 1955 by late Fr. Georges Massin from Belgium, Fr. Anthony Pierrot from the Netherlands and late Bishop Thomas Niu of Taiwan.

She experienced the baby boom (1970-1980) in Taiwan. During that period, the hospital set a record of 400 babies delivered in one month, she recalled.

"Many of the babies I helped deliver have now had their own grandchildren," she was quoted in the report.

Her decades-long dedication to taking care of premature babies and children also won her a Medical Contribution Award in 2004.

Although Franssens has retired from the hospital, she is still interested in medical issues. Her focus now is on long-term care for senior citizens and she often offers advice to the hospital on the provision of better care for the elderly, the report said.