Mum dies holding campaigning daughter’s hand after COVID-19 battle

A Portadown pensioner, whose daughter had campaigned to be a Care Partner for her mummy in a care home, has died of COVID-19.

Tuesday, 5th January 2021, 9:54 am

Martina Ferguson spoke of her heartbreak after her mum Ursula Derry died holding her hand in Craigavon Hospital yesterday.

Mrs Derry had been a resident of Sandringham Care Home in Portadown suffering from Alzheimer’s and Vascular Dementia.

Her daughter Martina spearheaded a campaign for more access to loved ones as a Care Partner and spoke of her anguish at being unable to hug her kiss her mother for nine months.

Last night in a heartfelt post on Facebook, Martina said: “Sadly my Mummy didn’t recover from contracting COVID in the Care Home.

“As I held her hand in hospital my mother took her last breath early hours this morning.

“We are all so heartbroken and sad. We will hold on to all the great memories and all the laughs and giggles we had together.

“I will miss my best friend ❤️

“We will lay our mother to rest on Thursday,” she said.

Martina was distraught at moving from visiting her mum several times a day and tucking her into bed at night, to being unable to hug or kiss her mummy at all.

She felt her mother needed her human touch as she battled her illness.

On Christmas Day, Martina posted a photograph of herself and her mum in Craigavon Hospital.

Martina visits her mother Ursula on the front porch of Sandringham Care Home in Portadown.

She said: “I didn’t think we would be together this Christmas❤. I wish it was under better circumstances.

“My wee Mamma fighting COVID - had to be transferred from the care home to hospital three days ago. Thank you to all doctors and nursing staff helping. Here’s to hoping her treatment works and my mum recovers well.

“We are also thinking about all the families who are separated from their loved ones and being locked out of care homes

“Our campaign got some families reunited but not every Care Partner got in - we’ll continue our campaign. Please keep us all in your thoughts & prayers

“We hope you have a safe Christmas and can get some kind of comfort and peace over the coming days and weeks.”

Mrs Derry, former of Garvaghy Park in Portadown, was the beloved wife of the late Aloysius and dearly loved mother of Pauline, Teresa, John, Jacqueline, Martina and Monica.

A private, family committal service will take place, with a memorial Mass being celebrated at a later date.

Her death is deeply regretted by her loving daughters, son, daughter-in-law Carol, sons-in-law Gary, Adrian, Noel and Sean, grandchildren Melissa, Adrian, Nicola, Conor, Nicole, Shane, Neve and Callan, great grandchildren, sisters Maggie and Pauline, brother Christopher, nieces, nephews, cousins and family circle.

Her funeral strictly private due to the ongoing pandemic.

Those wishing to pay their respects to Ursula can do so on the driveway to the cemetery on Thursday morning at 11.00am whilst adhering to social distancing.

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Heartbroken daughter’s plea to be Care Partner for mum in NI nursing home Read full story here

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