Beds, Herts & Bucks

Coronavirus: 'Grandma didn't die alone thanks to nurse'

Kim England-Godber Image copyright Kim England-Godber
Image caption Kim England-Godber and her grandmother Pauline, pictured on Mother's Day

A woman whose grandmother "could have died alone" has praised a nurse who sat with her during her final moments.

Pauline Woodcock, 85, was admitted to Milton Keynes Hospital on Sunday with breathing problems.

Granddaughter Kim England-Godber, whose six-year-old son has leukaemia, could not visit to say goodbye while her family was in 12-week isolation.

The family was "forever grateful" to the nurse who ensured Mrs Woodcock was "not alone", she said.

"Hospitals are crazy, busy places, especially now - but she was there for us," Mrs England-Godber said.

Mrs Woodcock, who had seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, was diagnosed with cancer late last year.

She died "quite peacefully" in the early hours of Monday.

Mrs England-Godber said tests were being carried out to see if she had contracted coronavirus.

In a Twitter post, she wrote: "Last night a nurse from @MKHospital sat with my nan whilst she passed.

"She did what we couldn't, 12 week isolation means we were unable to be there for her last moments, I will forever be grateful to her knowing my nan was not alone. Thank you!"

The hospital responded, saying: "We would like to thank you for your kind words, we hope you and your family are doing okay. Our thoughts are with you at this time."

Mrs England-Godber said she did not know the nurse's name but had contacted the hospital to pass on her thanks.

"My grandmother was a wonderful lady, she will be dearly missed," she said.

"Our biggest concern was that she would be on her own - she could have died alone at home. But someone was with her."

Image copyright Kim England-Godber
Image caption Mrs Woodcock's great-grandson William, 6, is halfway through treatment for leukaemia

Mrs England-Godber has written a blog about her family's "extra-cautious" experiences of self-isolation after her son William - known as Bilbo - was diagnosed with leukaemia in October 2018.

"As a cancer family we're very used to isolation," she said, "and in a way we've gone backwards".

"It's incredibly difficult to explain to children that they cannot do certain things, but that it's not just us - everyone is in the same situation."

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