Blackpool mum thanks Preston Hospital staff by raising funds for sensory garden

A Blackpool mum is helping to create a peaceful sensory garden at Royal Preston Hospital - as a thankyou to staff who saved her life.

Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 7:36 am
Jess Cook in the sensory garden at Royal Preston Hospital

Jess Cook, 22, of Fenton Road, Layton, nearly died following a Covid-linked stroke earlier this year and had to be put into an induced coma.

Nursing assistant Jess would normally be dedicating her time to looking after others at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Instead, she is still convalescing in Preston's neurological rehabilitation unit, six months after falling seriously ill.

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Jess Cook at Royal Preston Hospital earlier this year, with partner Jayson and son Oscar

But during her time in hospital, caring Jess has not let the time slip away - she set up a funding page to help raise money to develop the fledgling garden, so that other patients can benefit from it.

Jess promoted the funding page with some light-hearted hair and make-up sessions from her hospital bed, relayed to friends and relatives on her Facebook page.

Altogether Jess raised £1,000 and her campaign led to three garden centres donating items for the garden, close to the neurological rehab unit.

She said: "We've been able to get some lovely plants and other things already, thanks to people's kindness.

"We also have bird-feeders and windchimes in the garden, it is really taking shape.

"Barton Grange a donated a voucher and B&Q offered us some soil for the garden and Dobbies gave us some flowers."

Jess ' condition has continued to improve and she looks set to return home soon.

Her ordeal began after seemingly recovering from Covid over Christmas, when she fell ill at home on January 23 and experienced a terrifying loss of sensation in her arms.

Jess was taken to Royal Preston Hospital where she was diagnosed with suffering a spinal stroke, caused by a blood clot in her spine, itself a result of the coronavirus infection she thought she’d beaten.

After spending two weeks in an induced coma during which time she nearly died, Jess is now on the gradual road to recovery

Jess, who lives with partner Jayson Drake, 24, and their three year old son Oscar, added: “The staff at Preston have been unbelievable. They definitely saved my life.

“It was a really scary experience. I suffered a paralysis and they told me a lot of patients don’t recover from that.

"The staff here helped my body to work again through therapy, so helping raise funds for the garden was the least I can do."