When Dr. Nelson Malone’s grandmother Marion started working at Johns Hopkins Medicine cleaning floors, she likely had no idea that almost 70 years later, her grandson would work there as an emergency medicine doctor. According to WJZ 13, Dr. Malone started at Johns Hopkins Medicine as a student. At the time, he had no idea about his family’s history at the facility.
“When she was about 20 years old, she actually ventured off from remote Virginia to come to Baltimore, to the big city, to do some work and found herself here at Hopkins helping out with some cleaning,” Dr. Malone told WJZ-13.
It was the 1950s, and Marion’s brave decision to leave the rural, Jim Crow South for more opportunities set her family on a different path.
“Most of the people who come from communities like I come from, you don’t see that often,” he explained to WJZ-13. “We don’t see people making it out of these circumstances.”
Marion is also a reason why Malone decided to pursue a career in medicine. He said he watched her take care of his grandfather growing up, AfroTech reports.
“Seeing her be that care provider to him played a huge role in my decision to go into medicine,” Dr. Malone told WJZ-13.
After Marion passed in January, Malone posted a tribute to her on his Instagram.
“From your late teen adventures cleaning the floors of [John] Hopkins, to a grandson becoming a doctor in the very same halls, 88 precious years and through many tears, Heaven gained another angel,” he wrote.
Marion, however, got to see her grandson assume his new position before her passing.
“I’m beyond sort of what my nana, probably most people in my family, would have imagined,” Malone said, according to WJZ-13. “And so it was a beautiful thing that you know, her very last year here, she got to witness me finishing medical school and starting my career.”