A resident in North Eastern Community Hospital’s aged care home has received the best present of all shortly after her 100th birthday, with her new great-granddaughter born right next door in the hospital’s maternity ward.
Elisa Severino turned 100 in April, however because of the COVID-19 restrictions in place at the time limiting visitors at the home to one per person, she had to share the occasion with her extended family through a closed window.
While the celebrations were still special, North Eastern’s aged care home and maternity ward were able to work together to help make up for the lack of family contact two months later when Elisa’s granddaughter Lisa Di Francesco, who was named after Elisa, gave birth to her first child Madeleine at the hospital on 23 June.
Despite visitors to the maternity ward also limited to two per person per day, because great-grandmother Eliza was resident in the hospital complex and not visiting from outside, the hospital was able to use its discretion to allow four generations of women in the family to come together and for Elisa to hold her new great-granddaughter the day after her birth.
New mum Lisa said it was important to her that her grandmother be able to meet her baby girl.
“I was very emotional,” Lisa said fighting back tears.
“It just meant the world to me that they were able to meet. Because of COVID we weren’t sure it would be possible, but the staff were great and (Elisa) was able to come.
“Now we know when Elisa’s not around anymore, Madeleine will have a photo of her with her great-grandmother.”
Lisa says she is very close with her grandmother and spent a lot of time at her house with her sisters and cousins when she was growing up.
“I think it was very nice for Elisa – we put Madeleine in her arms… I think she was stoked about that.”
Elisa’s daughter Tess Di Francesco said having her mum in NECH’s aged care home made it possible for her to visit baby Madeleine.
“We were very happy that (staff) were able to organise a visit,” she said.
“The fact that mum had just turned 100 made it extra special.”