Daughter spent three nights at dying mum's bedside on Covid-19 ward at Leeds hospital

A daughter who spent three days and nights at her dying mum's bedside on a Covid-19 ward at Leeds General Infirmary has thanked NHS workers for going "above and beyond."

Saturday, 2nd May 2020, 6:00 am

Gail McCarthy, who wore personal protective equipment at all times on the ward, said it "meant so much" to be allowed to be with her mum Mary Mirfin when she died aged 86.

And Mrs McCarthy, 53, of Morley, has thanked the hospital's mortuary staff after they placed a small knitted blue heart with her mother's body and sent an identical one to her family with a note.

Mortuary staff said in the note that the knitted hearts are a token to show that they care and hope they help bring some comfort to grieving families.

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Mary Mirfin

Great grandmother Mary Mirfin, who suffered from dementia and type two diabetes, had been a resident at Sunnyview House Care Home in Beeston for 12 months.

She was taken to Leeds General Infirmary on Tuesday April 14 after falling ill with coronavirus symptoms.

Mrs McCarthy, who works as a care worker, said she had not seen her mum for three weeks as the care home had been in lockdown.

Mrs McCarthy went to LGI at around 4pm on Thursday April 16 and stayed, sleeping in a chair by her mum's hospital bed for three nights.

Mary Mirfin pictured with husband Tom

Mrs McCarthy said she wore a mask, gloves and apron at all times while on the Covid-19 ward and agreed to self-isolate for 14-days after her last day there.

Mary Mirfin, of Morley, died just after 5am on Sunday April 19.

Mrs McCarthy said: "It meant so much being at the hospital. It was lovely to know that she wasn't alone when she died.

"Everyone at the hospital was so kind to me and they really looked after my mum. They went above and beyond."

The knitted heart and mjote sent to Mary Murfin#s family by mortuary staff at Leeds General Infirmary.

Speaking about the knitted blue heart and the note from mortuary staff at LGI, Mrs McCarthy said: "It is lovely. We couldn't dress her in her own clothes, but this is something that we will cherish and save."

Mary Mirfin was a retired cleaner and canteen assistant who worked at Marshalls in Morley for many years and enjoyed playing bingo in her spare time.

A mother-of-four, she also leaves children Paul Davies, Yvonne George, and Barry Mirfin.

She had 11 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. Mrs Murfin's husband Tom died aged 67 in 2006.

Paying tribute to her mother, Mrs McCarthy said: "She was a lovely woman who was fiery and had a wicked sense of humour.

"She used to wind everybody up and then sit back and watch and laugh. They loved her down at Sunnyview and the staff there were amazing."

Mrs Mirfin's granddaughter Sharon Davies, 40, said: "She was such a lovely woman and so family oriented."