Mary Gordon (83) from Vianstown Park in Downpatrick would not miss her Thursday night clapping session for the NHS front line staff despite being unwell herself.
Every Thursday at 8pm she gets well wrapped up to keep any night chills out and sits and waits for eight o’clock at her front gate when all her neighbours and family give a hearty clap for their NHS front line heroes.
Mary has managed despite her age to create a different piece each week with the help of relations and friends for her rainbow collection which includes a garden arch, brightly coloured leprechauns and rainbow posters on her windows and fence.
A mother of eight children, grand-mother to 17 and great-grand-mother to another 17, Mary certainly is not short of company as her family mostly all live close-by in Downpatrick.
Kiera English, Mary’s grand-daughter who contacted Down News through the Facebook messenger, said: “Mary has not missed a night yet at her front door clapping for the NHS, despite being in poor health.
“Back in March before the Covid-19 epidemic took off and the lockdown was imposed, Mary was in hospital having tests and she came out of hospital at that point. And now these further tests have been delayed as staff have been redeployed to the Covid-19 front line.
“Her family know this is the reality facing the health system at the moment, but undeterred, they are giving Mary every bit of support she needs and deserves.
“Many patients like Mary are now waiting on assessments and treatments and have faced delays and cancellations due to Covid-19 and its impact on the NHS. We do what we can to look after our dear old gran. The family are very supportive.
“And Mary has two carers who attend her regularly and her family are on her doorstep to keep an eye on her. This is a nice moment for our family to have a photo taken with our gran. Social distancing is difficult and it certainly makes life more complicated for social events and simply for caring for people like our gran.”
Also, Mary’s great-grand-daughter Lucy English won a competition recently organised by Lydia Health Care in creating a Rainbow of Hope. Lucy made a garden arch over her great- grannies’ pathway from painted milk cartons in the colours of the rainbow. And Lucy is running a cake stand on Saturday 30 May to raise funds for a local health charity… a great show of community spirit.
Just after the clapping for the NHS at Vianstown Park, it was time for Mary to once again go inside as her front line carers had arrived once again to get her settled down for the night.
Well done everyone!