A festive 'thank you' to hospital staff in Skegness who reunited couple for final days of their lives
Daughter Maureen Davies has spoken of how she was able to sit between her parents beds and hold their hands as they passed away peacefully within hours of each other.
She and her husband, Peter, visited Scarbrough Ward, to formally thank the nursing staff and make a generous donation of £1,000 to Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust’s (LCHS) charity in appreciation of the care and kindness of their staff.
Back in August 2021 staff on Scarbrough Ward worked hard to reunite Maureen’s parents, William and Freda O’Brien, who were both in palliative care but in different hospitals. Their family from Lincoln, were trying to be in two places at once to be with them.
Freda also celebrated her 90 th birthday on Scarbrough Ward at Skegness Hospital and William aged 91 was transferred there, just in time for the couple’s 70 th and last wedding anniversary on August 4.They celebrated together, enjoying cake with their family.
Originally from Edwinstowe, Nottingham, the couple moved to Branston, Lincolnshire to be near their daughter, Maureen.
Freda was admitted to Scarbrough Ward at Skegness Hospital for rehabilitation, but it was soon realised that she needed palliative care.
After William was admitted to Lincoln County Hospital, the team worked hard to move him to Scarbrough Ward at Skegness Hospital, into the same room so they could be together as they reached the end of their lives.
Maureen was able to be there for both her parents at the same time. She sat between their beds and held their hands. Eventually, the couple peacefully passed away, within one day of each other, and reunited over the rainbow.
Nurse Becky Camm who looked after the couple said: “It was heart-warming and very emotional to help this lovely couple and their family. The team all pulled together to make sure they were reunited and everyone had to act quickly, from the physio to the pharmacist to make this happen in
“This was one of the proudest moments in my nursing career; having Freda and William together in the same room with their daughter between them; it was so special.”
“It was wonderful to see Maureen again and we appreciate their generous donation to the ward.”
Maureen said: “I’ll always be extremely grateful to the thoughtful staff who helped bring my parents together and make a difficult time for our family, a bit easier. Everyone at Skegness Hospital was kind and considerate and looked after all of us.
“I’ll never forget that last little celebration for their wedding anniversary and seeing my parents happy together before their health deteriorated.
“My parents were very lucky to be together at the end of their lives and they had a beautiful love story that deserves celebrating.”
The nursing team on Scarbrough Ward won the Chair’s Award in the LCHS’ staff awards in 2021 for their work and kindness in reuniting these patients.