Western Sussex Hospitals have joined up with Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals to form a new NHS Foundation Trust for our area: University Hospitals Sussex.

You can keep using this website for information about St Richard’s, Worthing and Southlands hospitals but for our other sites and to find out more about the new trust please visit www.uhsussex.nhs.uk.

Staff help loving couple with COVID-19 hold hands on Beacon Ward

Wednesday June 10, 2020

A loving couple, married for more than 70 years, stayed together and held hands until the end thanks to the compassion and consideration of staff on Beacon ward. 

91 year-old Pat Wood and her 94-year-old husband Ron (pictured above) died within days of each other after both contracting Covid-19.

Their daughter, Nikki Evans, had nothing but praise for the care her parents received at the end of their lives. She said: “They put mum and dad in a four-bed bay, just the two of them, so they could hold hands for the last four days before mum passed away in her sleep.”

Seeing them together, holding hands was very special. It made me feel very proud to be a nurse.

Matron Sue Shepherd thanked the ward team for “going the extra mile”. She said: “In times of crisis, it is the little things that make the biggest difference and they ensured the couple spent those last precious moments together.”

Staff nurse Maria Reina cared for Ron on Beacon ward. She said: “Seeing them together, holding hands was very special. It made me feel very proud to be a nurse.”

The couple’s daughter Nikki wished to say thank you to the whole ward team. She said: “After mum passed away on 18 May, they cared for dad compassionately in his last few days until he passed away on 23 may.They died together, in a short space of time, after being married for 71 years. 

“Worthing Hospital was brilliant, wonderful and caring. I would like to thank all the team, doctors, nurses and the ward clerk on Beacon. In these challenging times, when visiting is restricted, it was never too much trouble to let me speak to them on the iPad.”

Ron, Worthing Football Club’s top scorer after the war, and Pat, who worked in the town centre Marks & Spencer’s for 28 years, also received many letters from friends and family through the trust’s new Messages to Loved Ones service.

PALS team manager Jo Yearsley said: “Messages to your Loved Ones is providing such a wonderful service for relatives and friends to keep them in regular contact with their loved ones while in hospital.

“It is very humbling to be part of this initiative and makes the PALS team very proud to help in any way they can when ward visiting is restricted.”​

    Was this information helpful? YesNo

    How can we make this page better: