'Exceptional' nurse who fostered 20 children dies from coronavirus

Jimmy Nsubuga
·2-min read
Julie Penfold, 53, worked at Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Trust in Merseyside (Picture: GoFundMe)
Julie Penfold, 53, worked at Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Trust in Merseyside. (GoFundMe)

A nurse who fostered 20 children has died after contracting coronavirus.

Julie Penfold, 53, worked at Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Trust in Merseyside.

She had been on a career break due to health issues for about 18 months before her death on Monday, a spokesman for the trust said.

Her husband Nick described her as “an exceptional woman”.

He added: “She loved her job. When she was at school, all she ever talked about was being a nurse.

“She was lovely and never had a bad word to say about anybody and nothing was too much trouble for her.”

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Penfold, known as Jules, had fostered more than 20 children and also had two daughters, a son, an adopted daughter, two step-daughters and 11 grandchildren, as well as a son and daughter who died.

She and her husband would have celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary this year.

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Her husband added: “She was always checking on other people and looked after everyone.

“As a mentor she loved training the younger ones and supported a lot of doctors. She was really well-loved.

“I was really proud of her. She was an exceptional woman.”

He said: “She was just a beautiful woman and everything I lived for. Her death was just such a shock.”

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A spokesman for the health trust said Penfold, who had underlying health conditions, was a patient at Arrowe Park Hospital when she died.

A book of condolence is being set up in the chapel at Arrowe Park Hospital and a minute’s silence is being planned in her memory.

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Janelle Holmes, chief executive of Wirral University Teaching Hospital, said: “Words cannot express how saddened we all are to lose a member of our own team to COVID-19.

“This is truly devastating and my thoughts and sympathy are with Julie’s family at this time. She was a valued member of staff who cared so much about others.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up in Julie’s memory.

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