Widower, 93, thanks NHS workers for arranging precious last days with his wife

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A MYSTERY pensioner has written a moving tribute to NHS staff who let him be with his wife during the last days of their 69-year-old marriage.

The 93-year-old, who is still unknown, was recovering from a broken leg at a rehabilitation centre when he was told his wife’s health was deteriorating.

His 90-year-old partner was in the last stages of dementia and being cared for at a nursing home when she was rushed to Ayr Hospital.

Tragically, the man hadn’t been able to visit her much at the home as she was placed in an upstairs room and the lift was broken.

The unknown man praised NHS staff in Ayrshire and Arran for going above and beyond to help

But staff at NHS Ayrshire and Arran made special arrangements for the couple to spend their final moments together, in the same hospital, with their very own “double room”.

The exceptional move meant the couple, and their two daughters who had flown over from Australia, were able to spend their final moments together as a family.

Blown away by the treatment from NHS Ayrshire and Arran, the man thanked staff on the website, Patient Opinion writing: “Thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything.”

Using the username Lottie21, he wrote: “I am a 93 year old who has always led an independent and active life so it was a massive change to me when I recently broke my leg and lost some of that independence.

“My 90-year-old wife of 69 years had end stage dementia and was a resident in a local nursing home.

“It broke my heart to not be able to go see her as she was upstairs in the home and the lift was broken but the nurses happily spoke to the staff in the home for updates.”

The man went on to praise staff at the care home for update him and his two daughters on his wife’s health despite “staff being run off their feet”.

Speaking of the night his wife took a turn for the worst, he wrote: “As I got stronger and almost seeing the light of discharge I was gently woken one night and told my wife was very poorly and had been transferred to Ayr Hospital.

“One of the auxiliary nurses kindly took me across to Ayr Hospital to be with her and sat with me all night at her bedside offering me support and ensuring I was OK.

“We were in a side room and the next day the SCN from Lindsay Ward came to see me and explained my care was being transferred back to Ayr staff so I could remain with my wife and a second bed would be put in the room where we could be nursed together.

“A few days later my wife and myself were transferred as a pair back to Lindsay Ward where they had created a “double room” for us and we were welcomed back as if part of their family.

“The care for my wife was excellent and was evidenced by the fact she never once looked like she was in any distress or discomfort and although she was very thin and frail her skin was perfect.

“Most comforting to me was the fact that at night they pushed our beds together to create a double and I was able every night to lay holding her in my arms and reassure her I was there something I had not been able to do for some time since she entered the nursing home.

“It was difficult for us to leave the staff that not only had I built a relationship with but that I trusted with my now terminally ill wife’s care.

“Sadly my wife passed away but we were all by her side and her passing was made easier in the knowledge that she did not suffer and due to the excellent care of staff at the Biggart Hospital it was as stress free as it possibly could have been.

“I will be eternally grateful for the care we all received for in the end the staff did not only care for my wife and me they cared also for my daughters.

“Most of all I am grateful for the opportunity to have spent the last nights of her life with her in my arms as we had done for oh so many years prior to her leaving for the nursing home.”

The heartfelt message was also shared on Patient Opinion’s Facebook page and read by over 20,000 people – making it the most read post the page had ever had.

Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran,responded writing: “This must have been such a heart-breaking time for you but made easier by the exemplary care you and your wife received.

“Your story highlights some of the difficulties that can be experienced by a couple in their advancing years, if I can use such a term.

“It also shows what the staff managed to achieve for both you and your wife, which is outstanding.

“I am humbled and honoured to respond to you, and to make sure your sentiments and thanks are shared with the teams involved.”

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