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100 Years Of Alder Hey – Mrs O’Hanlon’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.

Mrs O’Hanlon’s story

Dear Alder Hey,

I would like to share my story with you. I am 83yrs old and remember my time in hospital as a patient in 1944. I had stayed behind in school as I had been chosen to help teacher. This was a job everyone wanted. I had to go across the school yard, we were told not to run but I did and fell on the step and banged my knee on the playground floor.

I still wanted to help teacher but she had contacted my family. My school was only across the road from my house so I went home. When my father saw how badly swollen my knee was and how much pain I was in he phoned an ambulance because I couldn’t move. He phoned them and said “I need an ambulance for my baby” I was 12yrs old, so when the ambulance man came he was expecting to see a “baby”. I was the baby of the family and my father automatically said it when he phoned for the ambulance, so it was a shock when they saw me.

I had to stay in hospital and I was on F1 ward. My knee was too swollen and sore for the doctors and nurses to do anything with. I had to have bed rest. There was a little boy on the ward called Andy Mountain, he had had operations on his leg and had to have weights attached, but he kept getting into trouble, he was always getting shouted at because he would see me and he would sit up and shout my name and as he moved the weights would fall and the doctors and nurses would shout “Andy Mountain” and they had to go and sort them out.

While I was in hospital prisoners of war were there as well but I never saw them. It was very strict at visiting times, but my father would sneak outside the ward and pass me through the window, ribbons for my hair and sweets for the children. I would be so happy to see him but I was terrified I use to think the Germans would get him.

The teachers would come to the wards but because I wasn’t a long-term patient they wouldn’t give me any pencil, pens or paper. The time came for the doctor to drain blood off my knee it was still painful but as the needle went into my knee to drain the blood away the pain went. They just kept syringing black blood out and my knee was slowly going down like a balloon.

I never did get to say thank you to the doctors and nurses, I know my parents did I remember they brought biscuits for them. I know the doctors, nurses and all the staff will be dead now, so on behalf of all the children past, present and future may I say “Thank You all for the wonderful work you all do. Thank you doctors and nurses, I want to thank the porters who push the children after their X-ray’s the cleaners who wipe the floors after the operations, the people who serve the dinners, clerical staff and anyone who I have left out.

I wish you all well for your new hospital.

God Bless and keep doing what you all do best….caring.

Mrs C O’Hanlon (nee Wright)

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