Painted handprint of long-serving Edinburgh Sick Kids nurse who died last year is reunited with family

An Edinburgh family have been reunited with a painted handprint left on a window at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children by their beloved mum – a nurse at the hospital – who died last year.

Monday, 21st June 2021, 1:03 pm
Updated Monday, 21st June 2021, 3:49 pm
Lorna Anderson dedicated over 42 years of her life to the children’s hospital and left her painted handprint on one of the windows when the building was due to relocate to Little France in 2019.

Lorna Anderson dedicated more than 42 years of her life to the children’s hospital and left her painted handprint on one of the windows in 2019. She died in January last year at the age of 59.

Now, with the new hospital open and the old building set for redevelopment, the imprinted window has been returned to Lorna’s mum Margaret, husband Ashley and her daughters Lindsay and Amy, thanks to Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity (ECHC). The family have made the window pane into a glass art piece and added their own names and handprints alongside that of Ms Anderson.

Ms Anderson started out as a trainee nurse at the Sick Kids at the age of 17, working her way up over the years to the position of clinical lead in the recovery unit. She was affectionately referred to as “The Queen of Recovery” by her colleagues.

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Lorna’s daughter Amy and husband Ashley with their artwork featuring Lorna’s handprint. (A piece of paper has been placed behind the handprint to make it stand out for photo purposes.)

Husband Ashley, from Buckstone, said: “When Lorna started out, in those days, working as a trainee nurse meant training on the job within the hospital, so she was hands-on from the word go and she loved it all.

“She ended up dedicating 42 years of her working life to the Sick Kids, caring for thousands of local babies and children and helping their families through very difficult times with her loving nature and smiley demeanour. She also had a huge impact on other members of staff and encouraged and inspired junior members to pursue careers they might never have otherwise chosen.

“When the hospital was originally set to move to its new home at Little France in 2019, ECHC did lots of farewell activities with children, families and staff, and this is when Lorna left her painted handprint and name on the window.

“She sadly passed away before the new Royal Hospital for Children and Young People opened, so my daughter Amy contacted the charity to see if there was any chance they might be able to help us locate the window – though we weren’t holding out much hope.”

Daughter Amy said: “I absolutely couldn’t believe it when they called just a few weeks later to say they had not only found it, but would be collecting the whole pane of glass and delivering it to me that weekend. I was speechless and just burst into tears.

“I can’t thank ECHC enough for everything they have done to make this happen. My whole family are over the moon to have this wonderful memory of my mum returned to us. We will treasure it forever.”

Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity supports the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People, and other children’s healthcare across Scotland. They work to improve the lives of children in hospitals and their families.

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