Final moment of joy: Nurse arranges for dying patient to listen to unborn grandson's heartbeat
By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
Last updated at 10:37 PM on 29th October 2010
A grandfather with just hours to live was given a final moment of joy when he was able to listen to his unborn grandson's heartbeat.
Roy Smith, 83, knew that he would not survive to meet his new grandson but a nurse arranged for his seven months pregnant daughter Vicci Smith Scott to have a scan by his bedside.
Sandra Wood, a sister at Greater Manchester's Tameside Hospital's intensive care unit, was so moved by their plight she contacted midwifery colleagues to arrange a scan.
Joy: Vicci Smith Scott, right, with son Lorca, whose heartbeat was heard through a scanning machine by dying grandfather Roy Smith. The scan was organised by nurse Sandra Wood, left
A Doppler machine - which detects a baby's heartbeat and allows it to be heard - was then brought up to Mr Smith's room after doctors delivered the devastating prognosis.
They scanned Ms Smith Scott, 40, so her father could hear his grandson inside the womb.
Sadly, Mr Smith died just two hours after the scan but Mrs Smith Scott gave birth to Lorca, who weighed 6lb 11ozs, two months later.
Happiness: Roy Smith, 83, was able to listen to his unborn grandson's heartbeat just two hours before he died
The mother-of-three, from Oldham, Greater Manchester, said: 'I was devastated that my dad wasn't going to meet Lorca.
'I was seven months pregnant and my emotions were all over the place but it was incredible for Sandra to go out of her way to help us.
'We can't put into words how grateful we are. Being able to allow my dad to hear his heartbeat means the world to me and gives me a lot of comfort.
'When Lorca was born the first thing we said to him was "your grandpa really loved you, we're sorry he's not here to meet you but he heard your heartbeat".
'He's happy and healthy and has a look of my dad about him. Sandra got quite emotional when she saw him for the first time because she also thought there's a definite likeness.'
Former RAF man Roy, from Werneth, Oldham, was admitted with a chest infection but failed to recover despite weeks of treatment.
His daughter says the care he received at Tameside brought the family 'huge comfort'.
Scan: Baby Lorca's heartbeat was heard by his granfather Roy
Modest Sister Wood, 54, was due to be presented with an Excellence in Care award from the hospital for 'going above and beyond the call of duty'.
The mother-of-two who has worked on ITU for almost 20 years, said: 'I've never done anything like this before but I thought it would be nice for the family and help them during a terrible time.
'My actions weren't extraordinary - it was more about teamwork. But it's lovely to see Lorca doing so well and when I first saw him a tear almost came to my eye.'
Tameside's critical care and cardiac matron Chris Greenhough said: 'It was a really nice gesture and a lovely thing to do in a sad situation.'
Ms Smith Scott has returned to the hospital with husband Graham, 44, and their children Dominie, 10, and Theo, eight, to introduce Lorca to staff and say thank you.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1324757/Final-moment-joy-Nurse-arranges-dying-patient-listen-unborn-grandsons-heartbeat.html#ixzz14PJmm5n3