New challenge for family of former Pendle nurse

Doreen Blackburn (S)
Doreen Blackburn (S)

The family of a former Pendle nurse who suffered two major strokes in Portugal continue to thank the public as they face their next hurdle.

Relatives of Doreen Blackburn were delighted in April after a £12,000 appeal saw their mum brought home.

Doreen (78) expressed a desire to return to England, having moved to the European country 15 years ago with her husband Maurice.

But after falling ill, and having used her health insurance after contracting lung cancer, she was left stranded and in need of help.

Following fund-raisers and donations Doreen is now back in East Lancashire, staying at Oaklands Nursing Home, but has been recently diagnosed with dementia.

Her daughter Sharon, of Grassington Drive, Burnley, said: “Mum is settling into the nursing home nicely. It’s taking time because there have been so many changes in her life over the past six months.

“Also with mum having been diagnosed with dementia, this is an added thing for her to be dealing with. Mum’s variable - she doesn’t remember the journey home from Portugal, or having the strokes. Most of the time she recognises immediate family, but gets confused with names and dates.”

Mrs Borrowdale has now started compiling a scrapbook of memories for her mum - including all the Leader Times articles that helped reunite her with her family.

The 54-year-old added: “I have started a scrapbook of memories for mum and in it I have put all the newspaper articles, and fund-raising events showing her the story, and efforts that were made to get her home.

“As a family, myself and my brothers David and Michael will be eternally grateful to everyone who helped us achieve this goal.

“We still cannot believe the tremendous support we have been given throughout this journey, and would like to again thank everyone so much.

“We are thrilled to have our family together again and cannot begin to thank everyone enough for the wonderful support and donations we received along the way.

“We’ve also got our father home. He is settling into his home, and we have made it very cosy for him.

“Dad manages to see mum daily now, which is a great comfort to him.”