A BOSTON councillor whose father died from MRSA has turned her grief to action by getting involved in a charity supporting the cause.
Andrea Jenkyns, county councillor for Boston North West, said her life changed forever when her dear dad Clifford contracted the infection and died just four months later.
But now she has decided to use her sadness to try to help others after becoming a trustee and East Midlands representative for the charity MRSA Action in her dad’s memory.
She told The Standard: “I’d not been exposed to it before, but when we found out my dad had caught it I tried to find some information.
“When he was ill we had time to talk about it. He said when he got better he wanted us to set up a charity together to inform people about MRSA, but there was one already.”
Clifford, who was 73 when he died, went into hospital last July for an operation to insert a lung drain which would ease symptoms of the mesothilioma cancer he was suffering from. But he was never to recover from the operation, after he contracted the superbug and died four months later.
Andrea (pictured with her dad) said: “It was a huge shock for us all, but the standards in the hospital were just appalling.”
MRSA can be contracted though the blood, eyes, wounds and catheter sites, among others.
She would not say which hospital her father was treated at, but confirmed it was not Pilgrim Hospital or any other Lincolnshire facility.
Andrea said she believed that one of the most important things she learned during her experience with her dad was how vital it is to raise awareness about MRSA to ensure that healthcare staff and hospital visitors do all they can to fight the infection.
She added: “Awareness is the biggest thing, and we want to make it so all cases of MRSA are recorded. Patients deserve to know.”
MRSA Action was set up around eight years ago and is made up entirely of volunteers. Andrea, who is also a singer, said she was planning some fundraising activities to raise money and awareness for the cause.
Anyone who is concerned about MRSA, whether they are suffering, know somebody who is, or they are heading into hospital can contact her.
l Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.