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"As they tore it down, I started to cry" Saying goodbye to Moosa Memorial

Posted at 5:16 PM, Jun 17, 2024

Eunice, La- Traveling down Moosa Boulevard, you will notice the hospital that's left in pieces.

For more than 50 years, it was the main hospital in Eunice, opening in 1955. It's been vacant since 2006, but before that it was a health facility, a community hub for most people in the city.

"This is where we were back in the day; the parking lot was always full," said Lynn Pavich, a former nurse.

Pavich started at Moosa Memorial Hospital in 1976. On the day it was demolished, she was there and showed us photos capturing more than 20 years of memories. Going through the pictures, she ventures back in time.

One photo that stood out was the picture of her and her late husband, Nick Pavich, a pharmacist at the hospital, dressed up as Santa and Mrs. Claus for the holidays, spreading Christmas joy to children in the community and patients.

"We gave them peppermint sticks, and they enjoyed it," said Pavich.

Memories are etched into each photo.

"I look at these pictures, and it brings tears to my eyes because there are so many memories," said Pavich.

She also holds on to a scrapbook that recorded friendships and the hospital's most significant moments.

This is all that Pavich left after the Parish decided to demolish the place where she would experience most of life's milestones.

"We had four children, two boys and two girls, all born right here in this hospital," said Pavich.

Pavich is not the only one mourning the loss.

"It breaks my heart; many generations have lived in this town, and I was one of the first babies to be born in this hospital," said Bernadette Mills, an Eunice resident.

She recalls the generations that followed behind, saying it's a full circle moment.

"And my oldest grandson was one of the last. When they knocked it down, I started to cry," said Mills.

The building has been vacant for 18 years, during which time it was vandalized and developed mold. Parish President Jessie Bellard tells KATC that re-purposing efforts were considered but decided that the building's condition would be more of a liability to maintain.

Pavich agrees with the decision and says although the structure no longer stands, she holds on to the abstract attached to the building.

"Memories of my family and my husband working with me through all these years, and now that he is no longer with us," said Pavich

A spokesperson with the Parish says the bricks and the foundation will be crushed and used for road repairs and maintenance throughout the Parish.