Upon opening the doors of St John of God Ballarat Hospital, the Sisters were faced with significant grief within the initial years.
Bishop Joseph Higgins was an inaugural supporter to the Sisters and gave generously in assistance in building the foundations of St John of God Ballarat Hospital. The Sisters nursed him at his residence until his passing only four months after the hospital was opened. Bishop Higgins made a generous personal bequest to the hospital of £700.
Dr Matthew Kelly was one of the hospital’s pioneering medical professionals, providing significant help in the establishment of the hospital. Dr Kelly admitted at least 16 of the mere 49 patients admitted within the initial year of operation and a quarter of the patients admitted in 1916.
Dr Kelly was unexpectedly admitted himself for blood poisoning in December 1916 and died shortly after.