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100 Years Of Alder Hey – Julie’s Story

100 Years of Alder Hey - Your memoriesThroughout our long history, millions of people have visited Alder Hey, including the United States Military during World War One. In this new blog series to celebrate Alder Hey’s 100th birthday, we are taking regular trips down memory lane to share your stories of years gone by.

If you have memories or stories of your time at Alder Hey, we’d love to hear them. You can submit your story on our Centenary pages.

Julie’s story

My story started when I was 12 years old. I was good at sports but at times my joints would swell and become very painful. My mum took me to Myrtle Street Children’s Hospital my mother was told I had growing pains.

When I was 15 I was transferred to Mill Road Hospital as an outpatient. A doctor there transferred me to Alder Hey Hospital where I needed more tests because the pains were getting worse. When I arrived they said I couldn’t be admitted as I was working but they changed their minds. So after many tests I was diagnosed with “Rheumatoid Arthritis” and then TB. The doctors and nurses were very caring and did the best they could to make the days go by.

We had a teacher on the ward but she said because I was working I was too old to be taught anything. She gave me sewing and craft work. That was the start of my interest in craft which I still do now at 76yrs old.

The day I was 16 was the Queen’s Coronation. My auntie had given the staff a birthday cake for me the day before. So when it was visiting time on my birthday my auntie asked me did I like my cake. I didn’t know what she was talking about. She went to the nurses and asked why I hadn’t been given the cake and they said they were saving it to celebrate the coronation she was not happy as this was my special day. The staff had to then bring me my cake and the ward all sang happy birthday.

The crew of The Royal Navy ship HMS Liverpool brought the children a big colour tv. All the doctors, nurses, cleaners and children were taken into a big room to watch it. There were lots who hadn’t watched a colour tv before It was very exciting. Afterwards we had a party and were given a Coronation mug and silver spoon. I often wonder what happened to them.

I remember when I went home I felt the rooms were so small after spending years on the big wards. My two younger brothers had grown from babies to toddlers and I had missed them so much because then children were not allowed to visit hospitals. The only thing I’d change (apart from being ill) was to have had them visit me in hospital, thank goodness now that children can visit.

I have had many operations to help with the pain I have wires in my neck knee replacements etc but of all the hospitals I have been to it is Alder Hey I remember the most.

I hope you like my story and thank you for looking after me. I hope and pray that your new hospital will be filled with love.

Thank you

Julie Byrnes

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