New relatives room in memory of cancer patient at King’s Lynn hospital

David Bretton with daughters Sally Reid and Claire McDermid in the new relatives room
David Bretton with daughters Sally Reid and Claire McDermid in the new relatives room

Family members will now be able to spend time with patients being treated at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital in a new relatives room.

The relatives room has been created in memory of charity supporter Christine Somerville Bretten, 75, from Castle Acre, who died at the hospital last February following a battle with cancer.

Mrs Bretten’s husband David, along with daughters Claire McDermid and Sally Reid, officially opened the Somerville Room on Stanhoe Ward on what would have been the couple’s 54th wedding anniversary.

Mrs McDermid is hoping that relatives and patients on Stanhoe will now be able to take comfort from the room during difficult times.

She said: “The day I was told my mum had cancer was the worst day of my life. I was taken into an examination room to receive this news.

“We wanted to create a room where other families could receive and process difficult news in a quiet setting.

“But we also hope that the room is used for more positive occasions and allow families to spend precious time together.

“My mother was beautiful, very caring lady with a wicked sense of humour. She also volunteered for the NSPCC and we think she would have been extremely pleased with this room.

“We wanted the room to be positive and somewhere hopeful for families to come.”

Thanks to the generosity of Mrs Bretten’s family, a former bathroom has been converted into the relatives’ room for Stanhoe.

The room has been decorated in some of Mrs Bretten’s favourite colours plus it also contains a number of landscape photographs which were taken by the former nurse.

When officially opening the room, Mrs Reid said: “We have brought the essence of mum into this room. It is so nice to think that we can carry on our mother’s memory.”

Mrs Bretten had originated from Kent but had lived in villages near Lynn for the majority of her life.