The couple sat beside each other holding hands one final time.
A married couple of 62 years were able to say a final goodbye to one another, thanks to the compassion shown by a Queen’s Hospital Burton sister and her team.
92-year-old John Wilson was given the sad news at the end of May that he had terminal cancer, at the same time as his beloved wife Marjorie, 88, was also being cared for separately at Queen’s Hospital Burton.
After hearing that Mrs. Wilson was set to be discharged back to her nursing home and knowing that they may never get the chance to see each other again, sister Emma Barker quickly arranged for her and her husband’s beds to be pulled together on Ward 8, so that they could say goodbye.
Thanks to her team’s actions, Mr. and Mrs. Wilson were able to sit beside each other on their own holding hands for around 10 minutes, with Emma then showcasing enormous compassion by taking a precious picture of the Ashbourne couple together for the family to have, should they want it.
Sadly, it would turn out to be their last photo together, as Mr Wilson passed away at home on 15 June, although, in a lovely letter, son Kurt thanked the team for taking the beautiful photo and for ensuring his dad was able to “die how he wanted to, peacefully and in my arms.”
Words are not enough.
He added: “I’d like to say a special thank you to sister Emma, who had the foresight to take a photo of mum and dad together for the last time. Again, words are not enough to express my gratitude to you all.”
Ward 6 sister Emma, who was working on Ward 8 at the time, insisted that the decision to ensure the family had this priceless lasting memory was one she made spontaneously but admitted that it had had a big impact on the entire team.
She said: “I can’t even imagine what it’s like to be married to someone for more than 60 years and know that you’re never going to see them again. The picture had everyone crying when they saw it – it was very emotional and powerful. To hear how happy the family were after receiving this picture has really impacted us all and the letter that they sent was so lovely.
“The whole reason you become a nurse is to care for people and to have moments like this. To now know that Mr Wilson’s son will have; not only this photo, but also the knowledge that his father saw his mother for a final time, will remain a significant memory for me. I like to treat all patients as if they were my family and I know that I would be extremely humbled knowing someone had done that for a relative of mine.”