“A touching memoriam to a courageous man” is how Dr Gerard Meachery, Consultant in Respiratory Medicine in the Freeman Hospital’s cardiothoracic unit, described a donation made by Emma Osborne in November.
The donation of £10,000 to the Newcastle Hospitals NHS Charity, along with funds from the Freeman Heart & Lung Transplant Association and support from the Trust’s Estates Department, has enabled the refurbishment of the visitor’s room on Ward 21, the adult cardiothoracic critical care unit which specialises in the care of patients following complex heart and lung surgeries. The refurbishment includes a new kitchen, modern, comfortable furniture, dining table and chairs and a specially commissioned piece of artwork by Emma’s sister Victoria Curling-Eriksson from her studio in Sweden.
Jonathan Osborne was diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis at the age of 40 but managed to continue leading an active life in the early years of his diagnosis. In August 2013, after 9 weeks on a priority list, Jon was air-lifted to Newcastle from his home near Bristol and received successful lung transplant surgery at the Freeman. He managed to regain a better quality of life and spent valuable time with his friends and family following surgery. However, a year to the day of his transplant, Jon became ill with pneumonia and further complications with his heart and kidneys and had to undergo more, very complex surgery back at the Freeman. He sadly lost his courageous battle after a week in ITU at the age of only 47.
Emma spoke movingly about Jonathan who was described as “a keen sportsman, successful businessman and devoted father and husband who had a cheery smile and sense of humour.” She explained how she had spent many hours in the Ward 21 visitor’s room when Jon was really poorly:
“I realised that everyone using that room was undergoing the same traumatic experience as me and after Jon died, I wanted to make a personal gesture of goodwill to say thank you to the Freeman for giving us an extra year with him. Improving the facilities for others going through a similarly traumatic time seemed appropriate and I’m so happy to see how much brighter and more comfortable the visitor’s room is now.
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