Family pays tribute to hospital ‘angels’ as Sheffield great-grandmother dies of coronavirus

The family of a much-loved woman who died of coronavirus have paid tribute to her – and praised the hospital ‘angels’ who cared for her.

Saturday, 18th April 2020, 5:50 pm
Updated Monday, 20th April 2020, 3:13 pm

Joan Higham passed away at Chesterfield Royal Hospital on April 9 after testing positive for Covid-19. She was 95.

The former seamstress lived in Sheffield for most of her life before moving to Chesterfield around 10 years ago.

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Tributes have been paid to Joan Higham, who died of coronavirus. Pictures submitted by her family.

Her granddaughter Deborah Dixon said: “My grandmother will be very sadly missed by her family and friends.

“She enjoyed a good life – she certainly lived it to the full.

“She also worked very hard throughout her life – she was a seamstress and made outfits for service personnel during the war and she also had many delivery jobs.

“My grandmother was a strong woman who loved her family and her dog Lilly.

After her husband Gordon (pictured centre) died, Joan completed many charity endeavours in his memory. Pictures submitted by family.

“She was a keen sequence dancer, which she also taught, and she loved bingo.

“She also liked to raise money for cancer charities as my grandfather died of prostate cancer.

“We have many happy memories of her.

“She was lovely.”

Deborah said her family ‘cannot thank the staff at Chesterfield Royal Hospital enough’.

She added: “We can’t fault them one single bit.

“We were unable to see my grandmother or be there at the end – but we take comfort in knowing she was with those wonderful people at the hospital.

“We want to sincerely thank everyone at Chesterfield Royal Hospital for the amazing care and compassion they showed to both my grandmother and the family.

“They are, quite simply, angels.”

Deborah has now set up this online fundraising page to raise money for the hospital as a way of saying thank you.

Joan, whose husband Gordon died 13 years ago, will be laid to rest in Sheffield next week.

Only five members of her family will be able to attend her funeral because of the current coronavirus restrictions.

Joan leaves behind her daughter Jacqueline Marshall, son Paul Higham, grandchildren Deborah Dixon, Claire Allen, Simon Marshall, Catherine Higham and Laura Higham, nine great-grandchildren and extended family and friends.