Derby

Burton hospital staff thanked for couple's final moments

John and Marjorie Wilson Image copyright University Hospitals of Derby and Burton
Image caption Hospital staff pushed John and Marjorie Wilson's beds together so they could hold hands

The family of an elderly couple has thanked hospital staff for photographing the pair's final moments after 62 years of marriage.

John Wilson, 92, was diagnosed with terminal cancer in May as wife Marjorie, 88, was treated at Queen's Hospital in Burton, Staffordshire.

Before discharging Mrs Wilson, nurses pushed two beds together so they could spend a few moments holding hands.

Mrs Wilson returned to her nursing home and Mr Wilson died at home on 15 June.

Nurse Emma Barker said she made the "spontaneous" decision to put their beds together while preparations were being made to discharge Mrs Wilson.

She said she realised it was likely to be the final time the couple, from Ashbourne in Derbyshire, ever saw each other.

Image copyright University Hospitals of Derby and Burton
Image caption Mr Wilson's family thanked nurse Emma Barker for taking the photo

"I can't even imagine what it's like to be married to someone for more than 60 years and know you're never going to see them again," she said.

"The picture had everyone crying when they saw it - it was very emotional and powerful."

Treat like family

In a letter to the hospital, Mr Wilson's son, Kurt, wrote: "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.

"Words are not enough to express my gratitude to you all."

Ms Barker said: "The whole reason you become a nurse is to care for people and to have moments like this.

"To know 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 I'd be extremely humbled knowing someone had done that for a relative of mine."

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