17 September 2013

Eric Woodhead’s wife Beryl has been a patient on Ward 44 for eight weeks following encephalitis and complications following knee operations.

He decided to brighten up the courtyard garden area outside the ward in order to cheer up Beryl, 77, to whom he has been married for 57 years, and the other patients. Eric wanted to thank the staff on ward 44 for the excellent care Beryl has received.

The 80-year-old keen gardener has taken cuttings from his own garden, which have flourished under his care, including varieties such as roses, violas and geraniums. Nursing staff donated the decorative pots, ornaments, solar lights and compost.

Eric said: “A lot of the plants are from my own garden and I just did the little every day that I am capable of.

“I entered the ward as a stranger but I’m a friend now.”

Beryl said: “It’s a really lovely thing to do. I’m so proud of Eric but then I’ve been proud of him all these years.

Eric, a former engineer and trades union official, has even offered to come back to Ward 44 to help maintain the suntrap.

Ward 44’s Sister Gail Brierley said: “I have had lots of patients contact me to thank Eric for the garden. It’s given them something to talk about and it helps remind them of their gardens at home as they still get the sight and smell of being outdoors. All the staff appreciate the hard work Eric has put into providing a lovely garden for all our patients.”