Cumbria Crack

NHS staff help family give Jean a 90th birthday to remember!

Jean Cormack

A much-loved Great Grandmother and Grandmother from Rossendale, who relocated to Cumbria four years ago to be close to family, has been given a 90th Birthday to remember – Thanks to her family’s surprise visit to a balcony near her ward at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary. This comes after 4 months in hospital, being treated for a dislocated hip while recovering from Covid-19 and over six weeks without being able to see any family or friends.

Plans to celebrate Jean Cormack’s big day 30 April originally included a family gathering at White Cross Bay, which were sadly scuppered when she was admitted to Furness General Hospital in early January for a hip replacement operation.

The banner

Two days after being discharged from hospital on 14 February, Jean’s new hip dislodged, resulting in a new operation on 5 March. In the interim however, Jean developed a chest infection and was then moved to Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal on 19 March for rehabilitation.

Jean’s daughter-in-law Shirley, along with grandsons Andy and Jonny, had been making the daily 60 mile round trip to visit Jean in Furness General Hospital, so the move to Kendal was a small relief for the family – but following nationwide lockdown measures, the visits then had to stop, which Jean struggled to fully understand, before contracting Covid-19 herself.

Having beaten Coronavirus, a wound infection saw Jean transferred to hospital in Lancaster on 20 April, although no direct contact from the family, regular pictures were sent, along with phone calls made by her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Jean Cormack in hospital

This Thursday (April 30) –  over six weeks since Jean last saw any family members, the family worked with, Katherine, Cheryl and Helen and other NHS staff to throw Jean a birthday surprise from a safe distance, complete with a giant banner created by her great-grandchildren, Jessica and Juliette. A special cake was baked by George, Matthew and William, her other Great Grandchildren.

On Thursday afternoon this week, whilst following social distancing guidelines under the watchful eye of hospital staff, Jean was brought out onto a balcony to enjoy her surprise visit to mark her 90th birthday, where she took a moment to compose herself before declaring she “couldn’t wait for a big hug”.

Jean’s daughter-in-law Shirley Cormack, says, “Although it was a very brief visit that lasted only a few minutes, the visit meant the world to the whole family, who will as we always do, clap the loudest for the wonderful NHS, as they continue to go above and beyond for each and every patient. We can’t thank the NHS staff enough for what they have done over the last four months.”

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