Oldham woman uses 60,000 ‘diamonds’ to create superhero picture for NHS heroes

AN Oldham woman, who used more than 60,000 ‘diamonds’ to create a picture showing superheroes bowing to doctors, has donated the artwork to The Royal Oldham Hospital to thank the NHS heroes who saved her aunt’s life.

Tracey Ayre, of Chadderton, spent around 200 hours over 43 days carefully creating the picture out of 61,204 tiny resin beads called ‘diamonds’.

A close up of the ‘diamond’ picture by Tracey

The image shows comic book heroes such as Superman, Batman and Spiderman bowing down to NHS staff, who have been branded ‘heroes’ for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.

Tracey has donated the picture to NorthCare Charity, the NHS charity that supports The Royal Oldham Hospital, to say thank you to the staff that helped save her aunt’s life.

Martha McGlade, 76, spent more than three months on the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at The Royal Oldham Hospital as she was treated for Covid-19.

Mum-of-two Tracey, 48, said: “My aunt Martha was extremely ill. On more than one occasion we were told to expect the worst, but thankfully she made a full recovery thanks to the wonderful NHS staff.

“I wanted to thank them all for the hard work and care they give, but I also want to give a special mention to the staff on ICU who went above and beyond.

“They even made sure they were there with a clap and a cheer when Martha was finally discharged and wheeled out of hospital to continue her recovery at home.

“I feel they have been heroes. It takes courage to treat people every day with life-threatening and contagious illnesses, putting themselves and their families at risk, so they can treat our loved ones and save lives.”

Tracey Ayre with her diamond painting of superheroes bowing to doctors, which has now gone on display at The Royal Oldham Hospital

Tracey, a business support manager for Tyco Fire & Integrated Solutions in Newton Heath, spent up to four hours an evening and spare time at weekends constructing the artwork during the recent lockdown, using a diamond painting kit.

The original artist is unknown, but the image became popular on social media throughout 2020 and has been replicated in various forms.

Tracey’s picture is now on display in the Education Centre building at the hospital, which is run by Oldham Care Organisation. On the back a note says ‘Made with love for our wonderful NHS by Tracey Ayre’.

Martha McGlade, 76, of Oldham, with family flowers she received when she was discharged after spending more than three months at The Royal Oldham Hospital being treated for COVID-19

NorthCare Charity funds innovative equipment, education, research and wellbeing support across the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group, which includes Oldham Care Organisation.

Shelley Owen, fundraising officer, said: “We’re really grateful for Tracey’s kind donation of this wonderful picture, which she put so much time and love in to.

“It will provide a constant reminder to our heroic NHS staff at The Royal Oldham Hospital how much they are valued by the local community.”

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