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Gilnahirk churchwarden sewing scrubs for Ulster Hospital

A retired nurse from Gilnahirk Parish has joined the army of volunteer seamstresses making hospital scrubs to help keep staff and patients safe during the coronavirus crisis.

Working as part of the Dundonald Darners group, Maggie Murphy’s first batch of scrubs is already in use at the Ulster Hospital, helping to protect high–risk, immuno–compromised cardiac and cancer patients, and the staff caring for them.

Scrubs are in big demand because hospital staff have to change and boil–wash their uniforms frequently to kill the virus.

Maggie, who worked as a MacMillan palliative care specialist nurse at the Ulster Hospital until her retirement, had wanted to return to nursing, in order to offer bereavement support to families affected by the pandemic but at 73, her family felt it was too dangerous, so she has been making scrubs instead – her contribution to the effort.

And as warden of St Dorothea’s Church, Gilnahirk, Maggie has been ringing the church bell at 8.00 pm on Thursdays to show gratitude for frontline workers.

But Maggie’s kindness reaches beyond Northern Ireland. By helping marshal Christian Aid’s sponsored walking and cycling events over many years, she has raised funds to end poverty in some of the poorest countries in the world.

Christian Aid Ireland Chief Executive Rosamond Bennett can’t speak highly enough of Maggie: “Whether nursing those at the end of life, making scrubs to reduce infection risk to patients and their carers, or bringing hope to the world’s poorest, we think you’ll agree that this very special lady is just sew, sew kind.”