Express & Star

Grateful family raise more than £2,000 for Wolverhampton’s intensive care nurses and patients to say thank you

A grateful family were so impressed with the care their loved one received before her death they raised £2,350 for Wolverhampton’s intensive care nurses and patients.

Pictured from left: Sam Cole, Lauren Cole, Paul Cole and Gerardine Hardisty

Lauren Cole, 32, community sister in planned care for east team for The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, organised a fundraiser on behalf of her late mum Penny Cole, with dad Paul Cole, 62, and brother Sam Cole, 35.

Penny, 56, died after suffering a cardiac arrest on her way to work at Halifax Bank in Wolverhampton city centre.

She was taken to the integrated critical care unit (ICCU) at New Cross Hospital but suffered another arrest and died on December 14, 2013 after spending four days on ICCU.

Just four months later, Penny’s dad and Lauren and Sam’s grandfather Richard Edmead, 85, from Compton, died on the same unit after suddenly contracting pneumonia.

They held a celebration event at Pattingham Village Hall to mark the 10th anniversary of Penny’s passing with friends and family with cakes, tea and a raffle, with donations for all invited.

They decided to hold the event at a significant time of year for the family, as Penny and her own mum Sheila Edmead shared the same birthday – Sheila was 93 on the week of the celebration.

“We wanted to do something to celebrate mum’s life, then we thought we could raise some money and the ICCU is such a good cause,” said Lauren.

“We ran a few competitions to raise money such as guess the number of sweets in a jar and name the teddy elephant, and some of Penny’s friends who now live in New Zealand also sent donations.

“I see the ICCU nurses as the elite of the elite – they have so much compassion for the job. They are in a different league, they are just so fantastic!

“We’re grateful to them and lucky to have them and we would be more than happy for the money raised to go to the staff or the patients.

“I only thought we’d raise £100 but we received £1,120 on the day and it’s grown and grown since, plus Sam’s work (Lloyds Bank) has matched some of the funds raised, meaning the amount currently stands at £2,350.”

Lauren has even kept in touch with nurse Sophie Lawley, who looked after her mum, and is now an advanced care practitioner at New Cross Hospital.

“Sophie showed true compassion and a caring nature towards Penny and the family, which we are eternity grateful for,” added Lauren.

“My mum got to see me in my blues but not my graduation. My grandpa was looked after by some of the same staff that looked after my mum, and they even remembered us going to visit both of them.”

Gerardine Hardisty, matron for ICCU, said: “We really appreciate this very kind, thoughtful and generous gesture by Lauren and her family. We are very humbled.

“We will use this money for future training and development of our staff to enhance our patient care.”

Amanda Winwood, The RWT Charity development manager, said: “What Lauren’s family have done to support our intensive care nurses is lovely, especially given their losses. The ICCU will put this to good use.”

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