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24 Apr 2020 Personal Stories

Sheila and Brett’s love story - part two

Following on from Sheila and Brett's love story - part one, Auxiliary Nurse, Leon, tells us how he stepped in to help the devoted couple continue communicating in their own special and unique way.

“Earlier this year, Sheila came to us for support with managing the symptoms of her illness. It was clear from the moment I met Sheila and her husband, Brett, that they’re so in love. When Sheila returned to us at the end of March, I was there to meet her, and the smile on her face was a picture. We created a bond; I would always try to spend some time chatting to her, like I do with all of those is our care.

"Due to the guidance on visiting which we have had to implement recently because of the coronavirus pandemic, Brett wasn’t able to visit Sheila at the hospice. He understood but was devastated. So instead of visiting, he would write letters to Sheila telling her how much he loved her.

One of Brett's handwritten letters sent to Sheila.


"One day, I overheard someone say that Sheila would love to write back to Brett but was unable to use a computer, so I took a portable one into her room. Sheila dictated while I typed, and then I changed the fonts to one which matched Brett's style of writing. When I showed Sheila the typed letter we both felt tearful. The letter was delivered to Brett that evening and he was so overwhelmed that he broke down in tears.

"Later, I saw a post on Facebook from one of Kirkwood’s Auxiliary Nurses, Jane, who was asking for help in locating a typewriter for a patient. I asked if this was for Sheila, and she said yes. That's when I decided to help. That evening I searched for a typewriter on the internet and found one in Bradford. I let Brett know what I had in mind, and he was so happy about it! So, off I went to collect it – thankfully this was before the lockdown! On arriving, I discovered the typewriter didn’t have a ribbon. The person I purchased the item from recommended I look on eBay.

"After searching online, I found a ribbon located in Pudsey, so I went to collect it straight away. I explained to the gentleman why I needed it so urgently, and he kindly let me purchase it at a slightly cheaper price! I took the typewriter and ribbon straight to Kirkwood to show Sheila, and as soon as I walked in to her room, we both slightly teared up.

Sheila writing her first letter to Brett.

"The next day, I set it all up for her, and just stood watching as she just learnt how to type again. With Sheila and Brett’s permission, we took some photos. The picture speaks a thousand words.

"Brett offered to reimburse me, but I told him it is my gift during these worrying times, and that, as a Nurse, we always try our best to bring a smile to all of our patients.”

To read part one of this beautiful love story, please click here.

Left to right: Brett, Sheila, and Auxiliary Nurse, Leon.

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