Happy Birthday, Robert
If ever we needed reassurance that the staff of Bennett’s Ward, St James’s Hospital, were the creme de la creme – which we didn’t – then today would have proved it beyond a doubt.
When I arrived this morning, Robert’s room was decorated with three banners – two walls and the door – six balloons and a large pin saying ‘Birthday Boy’ attached to the telly. SCA Claire Covaci (aka Bob’s other other woman – Janet’s the other woman…) had come in early to have this all done before I got there, and vanished to get ready for work. CA Alan was smiling from ear to ear when he saw my look of astonishment.
Of course I burst into tears. Bob was unimpressed with that, though we could tell he liked the balloons. Not only was the room gorgeous, but Bob had been shampooed and shaved by Elaine and Alan and looked spiffing.
Later in the afternoon our niece Bronwyn visited and gave Bob a reflexology treatment, and Eamonn came along too to give Bob his best wishes.
Everyone on the ward signed a card, and tonight Zita and Ritamary were already there when I arrived. We had cake (provided by Bennetts also – I didn’t get to do anything) with candles and some non-alcoholic sparkling wine – most of which ended up on the floor – and sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to Bob. He got a little upset which, while it’s not nice to see, is an indication that he’s aware of what’s happening to some degree. And that is encouraging.
Ritamary stayed on after I left (as I’m working tonight) and said Bob stayed wakeful and alert. Then our friend Pattie unexpectedly visited to wish him a Happy Birthday, and apparently he was relaxed and contented at the end of the evening.
Bob’s birthday visits actually started yesterday with his sister Ann, her husband and three of their children, and today his big sister Carolyn phoned from the U.S. with her birthday greeting – it was lovely to talk to her.
I can’t thank the crew on Bennetts enough for what they do every day but particularly what they did today. I’m sure Bob could feel all the goodwill and love surrounding him. There were more people in the room than those mentioned or photographed above, so thanks to them and to Bernie and Sorcha for their input.