St Josephs’ students help fulfil dying patient’s wish

ACE fundraiser Anne Thornton has praised Dr Kershaw’s Hospice and teaching staff for making a dying wish come true for her father.

Ninety-year- old Ken Plowright man passed away at Dr Kershaw’s Hospice in December.

But not before the proud family man was able to see his great granddaughter seven-year-old Scarlett Scholes perform with Year 6 pupils from her St Joseph’s RC Primary School, Shaw.

The 30-strong group sang traditional carols and modern Christmas songs for patients in the day services area of the hospice.

And a nurse managed to get Ken’s bed into prime position so he could sing along with his family at his side.

“He had a smile on his face, he was singing along and conducting with his hands,” said Anne, who has been raising funds for Dr Kershaw’s since she lost her husband, Bob, two years ago.

“Dad passed away a few days later but it was so comforting to see him happy and at peace with the world.

“The family is so grateful to the Hospice for making arrangements and to St Joseph’s for allowing Scarlett to join the older children on the visit.

“It was great that we got to see Dad so happy one last time.

“I cannot praise enough the Hospice and all its nurses and staff for the way they have helped in this most difficult time.”

Anne, the youngest in a family of five, also revealed that former welder Ken, who was a life-long Oldham Athletic fan, had received a video message of support from Latics boss Richie Wellens.

The school pupils, who also adopted Kris, the Dr Kershaw’s Elf on a Shelf, for the day, mixed with patients for drinks and cake after their performance.

“It was wonderful to see how the two groups mixed so well and our patients thoroughly enjoyed both the performance and the chance to chat,” said Kershaw’s Day Services head Ms Simone Groves.

Mr Steve Hill, Deputy Head at St Joseph’s, said the pupils were thrilled to be able to perform at the Hospice and the school are keen to look at other ways to encourage the generations to come together.

“Seeing children using their communication skills in this way is what learning is all about,” added Mr Hill.


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