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.
This image will now become a part of Worthing Hospital history as Two Faced Twins, artists Gem and Stella recreated the heart-warming picture and donated it to the ward on which Ron and Pat Wood were cared for.
Known to their family as Mama and Papa, Ron and Pat were born and bred in Worthing and were married for 71 years.
Their granddaughter Hayley, who took the original image, expressed her gratitude to the artists, she said: “When we saw the artwork we were blown away. It exceeded all expectations. They managed to maintain the emotion and meaning the photo holds for so many. And my Mama and Papa’s hands are so clear there is no mistaking whose hands they are.”
Chief nurse Maggie Davies echoes these sentiments by saying: “Thank you for this because this absolutely tells a story of our hospital and our teams in a very, very hard year. And sometimes it was only the small things that would make a difference when there was nothing more we could do and I think this picture really sums up the small things that make a difference.
“I am hoping that this will be a sign of comfort to those who have lost loved ones during the pandemic.”
Hayley also wanted to thank the staff at Worthing Hospital: “Last year they came to Worthing Hospital a week apart on what would be their final time.
“Papa came in first and settled into Beacon Ward. Shortly after Mama followed. What happened next, demonstrates the kindness, compassion and respect that staff here at Worthing hospital has for their patients.
“Mama and Papa, a couple that hadn’t been separated for 71 years were reunited on the ward. They were given their own bay and their beds were pushed side by side so they could be together and hold hands in their final days.
“It is impossible for us to express what this simple gesture meant for them and to us. To be together was the biggest gift. It was the epitome of patient care and something that we do not take for granted. We all take so much comfort knowing they were together as they should be, so thank you so much.”
The Two Faced Twins, Gem and Stella wanted to take on the six-week project without payment and use it to raise money for charity.
The twins went above and beyond and also gifted Hayley and her family a smaller framed version to treasure forever.