“As a parent, losing our teenage son was and continues to be a living nightmare. Lynn in the mortuary was able to do all of the things we weren’t; hold our son’s hand, tell him how much we love and miss him and she even played him his favourite music. We knew our son was in safe hands with her.
“In the most painful moments of our lives, Lynn provided some comfort, and we can never thank her enough.”
When someone passes away in Scunthorpe hospital or the local community, they’re likely to be cared for by our Mortuary Assistant, Lynn. Recently, the mum of a patient who died in a road traffic accident got in touch with our Chief Executive to share her praise for Lynn.
The mum continued: “She is an unseen hero and I feel strongly that her care and compassion shown should not be overlooked. Lynn is a truly special lady; she does such an important role and one which impacts greatly on families.”
Lynn goes above and beyond for all her patients. For this patient, she prioritised supporting his family and even identified him for the police, so his parents didn’t have to. She spoke to his mum almost every day, not only to keep the family updated but to understand more about her patient.
Lynn says: “If I can take a fraction of the pain away, that’s all I want to do. I strive to know all my patients and this helps to support families in their time of need. The care doesn’t stop just because someone has passed away.
“I attended this patient’s funeral and later his parents asked to meet me which was emotional for us all. I learnt even more about their son, saw many photos and enjoyed hearing about his life. They were so thankful for what I did for them, but I don’t do it for the praise, I did it all for them.
“This patient was special, but I would do this for any of my patients. On other occasions, when a patient has had no known family, I’ve pulled up in my car at their funeral. If I see people going in, I’ll drive away, but if it’s just me I’ll go in and pay my respects. No one should leave this world alone.”
Lynn takes great pride in the work she does and enjoys coming to work despite the emotional side of it. Since her time in the role, with the help of charitable funds, she’s refurbished the viewing room and family room to make the experience as comfortable as possible for patient’s loved ones. She also makes sure all babies born sleeping are given a small teddy and are placed in their own knitted Moses basket.
Lynn says: “People have their own perceptions of mortuaries, but everyone in here is treated with dignity and respect. I say ‘good morning’ when I get to work and ‘goodnight’ when I leave, I call them by their name and talk to them about my day while I care for them as I would if they were on a ward. I even decorate the department at Christmas! Myself and my colleagues do a lot of little things to make sure this part of our patient’s journey is special.
“People often ask me how I do my job, but I love it. Yes, at times, I’ve sat in my car and had a little cry before going home, but I have my own family to look after too. The only way I’m able to leave work and not let it affect me at home is because I know I’ve given my patients the best possible care.”
Lynn joined the Trust in 2009 in the laboratory blood stores on a temporary contract for work experience. When that came to an end she was offered a part-time role in the labs and in time agreed to do more hours. In 2014 she started covering on-call shifts in the mortuary and on 12 March 2018 she was offered the full-time position of Mortuary Assistant.
On a day-to-day basis, she welcomes patients into the mortuary from porters and nursing staff. She books them in, carries out all the relevant checks and arranges viewings for family members. She liaises with funeral directors, the police, medical examiners and other professionals to ensure their journey in the department goes smoothly and everyone has the information they require. She supports families with their final wishes for their loved ones and takes great care of everyone in her department.