Heartbreaking tribute from Sheffield councillor's daughter on her mum's battle with coronavirus

The daughter of Sheffield councillor Pat Midgley, who died from coronavirus, has spoken of her heartbreak after she was restricted from visiting her mum.

By Lucy Ashton, Local Democracy Reporter
Sunday, 29th March 2020, 6:37 pm
Updated Sunday, 29th March 2020, 8:15 pm

Pat died on Sunday, March 29 after she was admitted to hospital earlier in the week. She had been a Labour councillor for 33 years.

She leaves husband Don, brother Tony, children Joanna, Neil and Jamie and grandchildren Harriet, Lucy, Jude, Theo and Madeline.

Joanna described her mum as her "hero" and said she had been working hard until a couple of weeks ago when she became ill.

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Pat Midgley pictured doing a lap of the Don Valley stadium for the Race for Life in 2016, when she was Lord Mayor of Sheffield

"At the age of 82 her continued energy and dedication to improving the lives of others was truly inspirational. Her weekly schedule often made me feel tired.

"She had planned to stand down in May to take things easy and spend more time looking after dad but unfortunately that wasn't to be. They would have been married for 61 years in June and had a such a loving and solid bond.

"We are all heartbroken not just because we have lost the lynchpin of our family but because of the manner of her illness and death. Having Covid-19 meant that she was isolated from us and we had no contact with her for many days.

"Only one family member was allowed to see her for an hour on Friday and Saturday in full PPE. I know that our family and her huge circle of friends feel so sad that they couldn't visit and spend time with her.

"It's not the end we would have hoped for such a sociable person who spent so much of her time taking care of others."

She said her mum had kept her fighting spirit until the end despite being very weak and had received wonderful hospital care.

"She knew her own mind and what she wanted. This morning she refused morphine because she wanted to carry on fighting.

"We also managed to carry out mum's last wish yesterday by casting her vote for Keir Starmer in the leadership election. She said that she would never forgive herself if not.

"We owe a huge debt of thanks to the amazing NHS staff at Northern General Hospital. They have been really wonderful and on both visits mum was keen to tell me how lovely they were to her.

"I only spent two hours in that environment and cannot comprehend how difficult it must be to be working in the midst of it every day. I am in awe of their efforts in dealing with the unprecedented situation we find ourselves in."

Joanna described her mum as "wonderful caring, selfless and generous person".

"She had an ability to make anyone and everyone feel immediately welcome and loved. She was committed and devoted to her family and friends and always tried to keep people together and connected.

"Mum was a formidable and tenacious fighter for social justice. I cannot think of a better human being and am so proud that she was my mum."