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Family of former patient return with thanks and funeral donation

The family of a former patient have returned to the ward who cared for him in his final days to thank staff for their care and compassion.

Patrick Fox was 87 when he sadly passed away on Ward 15 at County Hospital after being admitted with a suspected kidney infection last month.

His wife Barbara, along with their son Stuart and his wife Margaret donated £300 collected from his funeral to help improve the care and experience of other patients on the ward.

Patrick was looked after on the 28-bed Elderly Care ward for 18 days over Christmas.

Barbara told us: “My family moved down from Midlothian when I was 19 for work. Patrick’s family had also moved down from Glasgow as his farther was in the RAF. Despite us both being Scottish I don’t think we would of met is we’d stayed north of the border. We were married for 65 years and have lived in Rugeley and Armitage together.”

“Patrick worked for the finance department at British Coal in Hednesford where we met- I was working in payroll at Lea Hall Colliery. He worked for British Coal for 30 years before retiring, rising to be in charge of the National Computer Centre across six sites looking after 2,500 employees. He met some powerful people in his time including dignitaries from the Middle East and China. ”

“He was rugby mad, and went all over Europe watching Scotland play. He could also sing, and was Lea Hall Miners Club’s Entertainment Manager, and would perform during the intervals to crowds of up to 400 people. He’d book some big acts in like Tony Christie. I remember once whilst on holiday in Spain with friends he was asked whilst singing if he was a professional- it made his day!”

“He also loved his garden. Often I’d be out shopping and would come back to hear him singing his favourite Scottish tenor songs and ballads. I’d have to tell him not to sing too loud to annoy he neighbours!”

Speaking about their experience on Ward 15 Stuart said: “I’ve never experienced anything quite like it in my life. The staff were unbelievable and on hand 24 hours a day to make sure he was well looked after and comfortable.”

“Everything about my father’s stay and care on the ward was explained to us including his final hours. They’d brought in camp beds so my brother and I could stop with him, and sat us down and explained there was nothing else they could do and what happens next. They went above and beyond to make him more comfortable. We’re glad he passed away here and not in a care home.”

“It was my mother’s idea to donate the proceeds from his funeral to the ward through UHNM Charity. She wasn’t always able to make it up onto the ward to be with my father, but I told her not to worry as the staff were amazing and looked after him so well. We want to continue to support the ward going forward with their various patient initiatives- this isn’t a one-off donation, we’ll keep on giving.”

Julie Woodworth, Ward Manager added: “Patrick was a lovely man to look after and we send our condolences to his family. We’re so very grateful for this heartfelt donation. Jut them coming back to say thank you and share their story is good enough for me, but this donation was make a huge difference to the care and experience of so many other patients like Patrick.”

By leaving a Gift to UHNM Charity you are helping to save and transform the lives of future generations of patients. A gift costs nothing in your lifetime and makes a difference for years to come. Please contact our charity team to discuss your plans on 01782 676444, email or click here

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