A HOYLAND woman whose husband died last week has thanked Barnsley Hospital staff who let her spend his last 11 days with her.

Michael Stothert, 82, had Alzheimer’s and was cared for by staff at Autumn House since January - though this is something that his wife, 82-year-old Helen found very hard to come to terms with.

The pair celebrated their 62nd anniversary on August 13, coincidentally Helen’s birthday, though they were unable to see each other face-to-face because of the current coronavirus restrictions put in place by the government to keep residents safe.

Back in February the couple celebrated Valentine’s Day together for the first time ever in the care home - an occasion Helen says brought tears to her eyes.

She told the Chronicle: “The work and care that everyone gave my husband was incredible and I can’t thank them enough for all the support they gave him.

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“It was our 62nd wedding anniversary in August and I wasn’t able to see him face-to-face because of the restrictions but that was through no fault of Autumn House.

“I just want to say another thank you to them because they were so amazing and were fantastic with Michael - the love and care they gave him was incredible.”

Michael went into Barnsley Hospital on September 7 before dying last Thursday, September 17 - but Helen wants to show some appreciation for those who looked after Michael in his end-of-life care after she was able to spend his final hours with him.

“My husband went into casualty at Barnsley Hospital on September 7 and we knew that it was end-of-life for him,” she added.

“I hadn’t seen him for 16 weeks and when the doctor found that out he couldn’t believe it - I asked when I had to leave and he told me I can stay until he dies.

“I spent 11 wonderful days with my husband before he died on September 17 and I was with him all day every day, and even though he was asleep I made sure to speak to him constantly.

“I totalled it up and I ended up sleeping a total of six-and-a-half hours in those eleven days - my daughter joked that it’s a wonder I didn’t talk him to death.”

Helen wants to thank the staff on ward 17 and ward 28 who helped her husband throughout the week - an act that although may seem small to them, made the 82-year-old feel so much better in herself.

Michael and Helen met when they were 17 years old and Helen recalled the day they met as she told him to ‘sod off’ before finally giving in to his date offer and the rest is history.

Michael leaves behind his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.