Diana Ellsworth with 80 sewn stuffed animals.

Diana Ellsworth of Rialto was a stay-at-home mother for nearly 20 years before she pursued her dream of a career in nursing. Ellsworth, who is now a registered nurse in the telemetry department at Community Hospital of San Bernardino, was accepted into a scholarship program through the hospital while she was a nursing student at San Bernardino Valley College. After graduation, she accepted a position with Community Hospital, where she has worked ever since then.

“I was 52 when I finally became a nurse, and I’ve been here 11 years now,” Ellsworth said in a news release. “I’ll stay here until I retire, because I’m doing what I always wanted to do – helping people to get better.”

In addition to her work as a nurse, Ellsworth enjoys sewing, a skill she has used to help the hospital’s staff and patients. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she started making hats and face masks for co-workers out of scrubs that were no longer needed. Many offered to pay her, but she refused, according to the San Bernardino Sun article.

Diana has also sewn gifts for children in the hospital’s Children’s Subacute Center, including blankets and matching pillows for Christmas and stuffed animals during the pandemic.

“Diana spent hours of her personal time sewing 80 stuffed animals and blankets for every single child in our pediatric Subacute Center,” June Collison, the hospital’s president, said in the news release. “These stuffed animals brought the children joy and companionship during those times of isolation.”

“The kids live there, and if I can make something that can bring a smile to their faces and make them happy, that makes me feel good,” Ellsworth said.