sweeney catherine healthcare worker

Catherine Sweeney, the home care worker who died after contracting corona virus.

By Bill Heaney

The West Dunbartonshire Council  home care worker, who died at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley on Thursday night, was Catherine Sweeney, a well known and well loved Dumbarton woman who had worked for the Council for 20 years.

The GMB union representative at the council, David Scott, has issued the following statement on behalf of the Sweeney family: “We want to pay tribute to our wonderful mother, sister, and beloved aunty, Catherine Sweeney, who passed away from Coronavirus while being cared for by the medical staff at the RAH Paisley, on the night of April 4th.

“We want to thank the doctors and nurses who heroically looked after her in her final days.  

“Catherine, who lived in Silverton, was well known, and well respected within the community of Dumbarton, where she was born and raised.

“She was a caring and generous person, especially when it came to her time, having dedicated over twenty years of her life as a home carer to unfailingly serving the needs of the most vulnerable in society.”

The statement added: “After a lifetime of service to the community, we know she will be sorely missed, not just by her loving family, but by many others for her incredible warmth, care, and dedication. A whole community shares in our grief. “

Community councillor Linda Spier said: ”  I’m utterly heartbroken to have heard  that the West Dunbartonshire Council carer who has died from Coronavirus  is the carer who so professionally and lovingly cared for my mum at home, prior to my mum going into hospital.

“Catherine always went the extra mile, knew all my mum’s needs, spent time reminiscing with her, laughed with her and gave her the best care possible. My mum became difficult to manage when her dementia progressed, yet Catherine always looked after her with empathy, love and patience.

“My heart goes out to Catherine’s family at this time. A good, kind and caring soul taken too soon.”

Meanwhile, responding to the open letter to the government expressing serious concerns about supplies of PPE equipment to frontline workers and the quality of that being received, signed by over 100 medics in Scotland, Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:

“We are now weeks into this crisis. It’s outrageous that our health professionals are being sent out on the frontline without the protection they need. These supplies are an absolute basic. 

“Medics should not feel the need to turn to the media for their concerns to be listened to. This daily fight for adequate protective equipment is distressing and distracting at a time when it should be all hands on deck. 

“In both primary and community care we need to see high quality supplies getting to the people who need it right now.”

Cllr Jonathan McColl, leader of the SNP administration on the council, refused to comment to The Democrat.

The media have been asked to respect the wishes of the family for privacy at this time, so that they can mourn in peace.  The Democrat will be doing that.

Tributes may be offered to the family who have set up a Just Giving page, which can be accessed here:

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