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U.S. nurse, 91, honoured for minding Taiwan's disabled for 40 years

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Taipei (dpa) - A 91-year-old U.S. nurse received Taiwan's presidential award on Monday for caring for disabled children in Taiwan for four decades.

Joyce Meredith McMillan, from California, received the Presidential Cultural Award from President Chen Shui-bian in a ceremony at the Presidential Office building.

McMillan, from California, visited Taiwan in 1960 and worked for one year in a Christian hospital.

She came to Taiwan again in 1964 and set up two homes for disabled children in Yunlin county in western Taiwan, where she continues to look after disabled people.

Over the past four decades, 400 disabled children have grown up at the Erlin Happy Christian Home and its branch home. The two facilities now care for some 40 physically and 80 mentally-disabled people, ranging in age from three to 80.

Because of her service to Taiwan, Taiwan has granted her permanent residence, making her one of the few foreigners to receive this honour.

McMillan recently told reporters that she was happy to live in Taiwan because she had only several children in the U.S., whereas she had hundreds of children in Taiwan.

Copyright 2005 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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