When I was first scheduled for an ante-natal doctor’s check-up on 24 December, I told the hospital clerk that I had no intention of actually attending. I thought I would have had the baby by now, and so this appointment was merely something to fill in on the paperwork. Of course, since babies don’t actually come by appointment, I did need to keep the appointment at the hospital this morning.

However, the timing of my hospital visit couldn’t have been better, as after my check-up (everything’s fine, thank-you-very-much), I was able to visit my 86yo great-aunt in the High Dependency Ward of the same hospital. She was admitted to hospital earlier this week after suffering a heart attack.

Laurel Bailey, December 2009
Laurel Bailey has been the matriarch of my father's family for almost 25 years. She is the sister to my dad's mother who died in 1985. Laurel never married, but loves all her sister's children (and grandchildren) as her own.

Aunty Laurel actually lives 600 kilometres away in Tamworth, NSW. But she spends a lot of time up here, staying with her oldest nephew Max Bissett and his wife Judy. During the week, while staying with the Bissetts, her mental condition started deteriorating, and she started acting very unusual. When Max and Judy called the ambulance, she became very upset, not wanting to go to hospital. Judy said it took three men to take her downstairs and put her into the ambulance.

Lauren + Laurel, DEcember 2009
I was pleased that Aunty Laurel was awake and lucid enough to talk with me.

During my brief time with her, we talked about past visits, and I showed her some old photos I had of my dad as a boy. Aunty Laurel recognised the photos as originally her own and could remember details like who gave the items in the photo and under what circumstances.