Reunited: Husband forced apart from cancer-stricken wife finally able to visit

Bill Hudson and wife CarolBill Hudson and wife Carol
Bill Hudson and wife Carol
A husband and wife forced apart by Covid-19 precautions as she battles an inoperable brain tumour are set to be finally reunited this weekend.

Bill Hudson had been calling on health chiefs to let him visit his wife Carol, who is in East Lothian Community Hospital, in Haddington.

However, those visits stopped at the start of this month and he has not seen Carol since April 6.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Last week Carol, 55, from Gullane, made a desperate call to him, pleading: “I want to come home.”

Since then, the couple maintained contact through video calls, but patchy mobile internet signals made it more distressing for them as they often ended prematurely.

Journalist and musician Bill, 65, had been allowed to make brief 20-minute visits to see Carol, an ex-legal secretary and health worker, when she was transferred to the hospital from a hospice towards the end of February.

He feared the mother of two grown-up sons, could be facing her final weeks alone and appealed to health chiefs to let him visit her.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

And they are now set for an emotional reunion after compassionate staff at the hospital worked out how to allow visits without putting themselves and other patients at risk of contracting the coronavirus by setting up a “sanctuary” area for the visit.

Relieved Bill said: “I will treat the consideration the staff have given me with the utmost respect, which it thoroughly deserves.

“At no point have I had any criticism. They have to protect everyone in the hospital and I understand that fully.

“I think this is victory for common sense – but more importantly it’s a victory for compassion.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He continued: “This situation has two rights, no wrongs, and I hope it will pave the way forward. It needs to be carefully assessed but I do believe it can be made to work.

“We are all on the same side, fighting for Carol. Seeing her will help us both at this time.

“What has to be remembered is that there are others in this dreadful situation the length and breadth of the country, who cannot see loved ones, whether they are receiving palliative care or are in care homes.

!It is an awful position for everyone concerned, including the staff as they genuinely care. It is distressing for them. They are kind-hearted people doing a very difficult job under exceptional circumstances and I have nothing but praise for them all. Like me, they too are fighting for Carol.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Thousands of others are in the same position and I hope the same consideration is given their plight as has been to ours. It is a strange and alarming situation but hopefully things can be worked out.”

Carol has been battling cancer for six years and is receiving care for a second inoperable tumour at the hospital.

Husband Bill has purchased full PPE equipment and has been self-isolating to ensure he is virus-free before the visit goes ahead.

Carol, who has two sons, Kieran, 23, and Connor, 25, has raised hundreds of pounds for Maggie’s Centres despite her condition over the last few years by taking part in fundraising Culture Crawls in Edinburgh.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

When she took part in the sponsored event two years ago she spoke of her drive to support Maggie’s, which had helped her when she was diagnosed with her tumours despite her condition.

Bill, who plays a number of instruments with his band, plans a musical tribute to Carol and the hospital staff at a later date.

He joked: “I’m hoping to be stood outside in the grounds, at a safe distance, belting out a tune on my ukelele and mouth organ. That’ll no doubt go down a storm – not.”

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.