A SPECIALIST unit at Glasgow’s flagship hospital pulled out all the stops to mark a milestone birthday for one of its patients.

For Andrew Rodger recently turned 90 - and the staff at the Queen Elizabeth National Spinal Injuries Unit held a social distancing celebration for him - with his family in attendance through a window.

The celebration happened as the Philipshill Ward marked Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day on Friday.

The National Spinal Injuries rehabilitation ward is a place where patients can remain for anything up to a year and beyond. Staff say this has been particularly difficult for patients recently with visiting restrictions and outings from the unit suspended - but that hasn’t stopped them from doing everything in their efforts to fill the void.

Glasgow Times:

Mary Hannah, Spinal Education Nurse, said: “All the staff in the unit are going above and beyond of the patients and the patients are really grateful.

“Patients are being encouraged by staff to use Facetime or Skpe to keep in touch with their family and friends with the iPads we are providing.

“Staff are doing weekly shopping trips for patients sourcing all their favourite wee bits and bobs that are normally brought in by their family and friends and one staff member made personalised goodie bags for all the patients just to brighten up their day. “These were created with particular care and attention to what the individual patient would like with one patients’ husband posting in a teddy bear their daughter had bought her for mother’s day and another patient getting an MP3 player pre-loaded with some of her favourite tunes.”

She added: “One patient celebrated his 90th birthday and the staff were able to allow his family to visit from outside the window of his room which had been decorated with we had balloons and happy birthday banners which made the day extra special for him and his family.

“These are just some of the things the staff have being doing for patients and the patients have looked forward to these treats. It is so rewarding to speak to the patients and hear them talk enthusiastically about everything.”

Mags McGuire, Nursing Director, NHSGGC added: “Friday was Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day and during what is an extremely challenging time I want to thank all the staff in The Queen Elizabeth National Spinal Injuries Unit for all they are doing to support patients.”

The annual awareness event is arranged by the Spinal Injuries Association in conjunction with other charities.

The day aims to raise the profile of spinal injuries and increase awareness and understanding of spinal cord injuries and their impact, effect and treatment.

The spinal cord runs from the brain down to the pelvis. It carries messages from the brain to the rest of the body, affecting walking, breathing, movement, blood pressure and control of the bowels and bladder. Injuries to the spinal cord can affect these functions, sometimes seriously, leading to loss of movement and control of bodily functions