SEVENTY years ago Mervyn and Sophie Kennedy vowed to look after each other in sickness and in health and thanks to the staff at the Bellinger River District Hospital, that lifelong pledge has been allowed to continue.
Time may be taking its toll on the Fernmount residents but not their love for each other.
This week the couple was invited to share a ward at the hospital as they each underwent medical treatments.
Their granddaughter, Heidi Holland, said the effort of nursing staff to keep them together had given the couple a great lift.
“My grandmother has been in hospital for a week, so when grandad had to go in for his monthly blood transfusion, the staff decided to put them in beds beside each other,” Mrs Holland said.
“It was great that they could keep each other company and it also made it so much easier for the family to visit.
“The compassion of the nurses to do this highlights just how fantastic a hospital we have and why we all need to continue to keep it operating with its full range of services.”
Mrs Holland said her grandparents have lived in the shire for more than 70 years and had always been strong supporters of the Bellingen hospital.
“Before they were married 70 years ago, Grandma, who is now 88, spent several years training as a nurse at the hospital. Grandad is now 90 and has spent plenty of time at the hospital over the years,” she said.
The youngest of the couple’s sons, Mervyn Kennedy Jr, was born in the hospital, as were four of their grandchildren and three of their great-grandchildren.