“Freda Saved My Life!”

She Answered The Call To Work With Alcoholics

What does Christmas mean to you? Obviously, it means different things for different people. For Christians it’s when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, born to give hope and life to those who trust him. He changed lives two thousand years ago and still does today. So, let me introduce you to Freda. An encounter with Christ transformed her when she was forty and she went on to help change the lives of others. But let’s start at the beginning.  

Freda was born in England, became a nurse and married her husband, Fred. They migrated to Australia with their daughters in 1968. Sometime later Freda’s father came to visit. Freda was a busy wife, mother and nurse, but she felt something was missing.  Her father told her she needed to know God.  Freda didn’t want to hear that.  It was only when in hospital suffering from serious back problems, that Freda began to listen.  The patient in the next bed told Freda about God and she responded, “Not you too!” But later the lady asked Freda if she had any excuse not to ask Christ into her life, and Freda said “No, I haven’t.” That decision changed her life.  Afterwards Freda felt God was calling her to work with alcoholics.  

She went to work at the William Booth Institute in Sydney and later at Fairhaven on Tamborine Mountain, nursing residents through detox. Some graduates of the program became lifelong friends to Freda and Fred. Graduates like Tony who had drank since he was eleven years old. Tony completed the program and became a counsellor helping other alcoholics to recover. Tony has now been sober for thirty-eight years.

Freda was compassionate but could be tough when necessary. One time a resident threatened Freda with a billiard cue. She picked up another one and told him she would crack it over his head.  The same man held no hard feelings.  Years later at a reunion, he greeted Freda. “Here she is, the woman who saved my life!” He had been a professional footballer until alcohol ruined his career. That day he showed Freda photos of his family and said, “What you did for me didn’t only affect me.  My kids and grandkids would have become addicts too.” As it was, they were healthy adults raising families and pursuing careers. Freda was happy to know her life’s work had affected generations.  It all began when she said “Yes” to Jesus.  

Freda Talbot - retired nurse & ‘life-saver’
Freda Talbot – retired nurse & ‘life-saver’

By Susan Alexander (Inspirational Writer) 

Susan’s Inspiring People