Patient Irene's poetic tribute to Shropshire's health heroes

A 90-year-old Renaissance woman has produced her own poetry anthology complete with illustrations as a tribute to NHS and health workers.

Irene Stasinski, centre, with Suzanne Edwards of the Drayton ArtsFest and Roy Payne of the Market Drayton Community Enterprise plus copies of her booklet
Irene Stasinski, centre, with Suzanne Edwards of the Drayton ArtsFest and Roy Payne of the Market Drayton Community Enterprise plus copies of her booklet

Irene Stasinski of Market Drayton had a spell in hospital recently and spent the time writing, as she often does.

Her friend Suzanne Edwards said: "The idea came because Irene was taken to hospital before Christmas. Whilst she was in there and recovering she was writing poetry.

"The sister on the ward asked her if she would create a booklet for the ward, and when she came home she rang me up."

Suzanne Edwards, who also runs the Drayton ArtsFest every year, decided to help bring Irene's work to a wider audience.

"Because we couldn't run the festival this year, there was a bit of money that we felt could go towards community projects. We decided that we would support the promotion of this and help to get it distributed."

Suzanne typed out 11 of Irene's quirky poems, some about her experiences in hospital and some describing her experiences in wartime Britain, and compiled them into a booklet with Irene's own illustrations.

The small team behind the booklet, which includes the leaders of the Market Drayton Community Enterprise, are working on getting copies of the booklet to Shropshire's hospitals, care homes, sheltered accommodation and other health sites.

The book opens with a tongue-in-cheek warning: "If you don’t like laughing, do not read this.

"Especially if you have post-op abdominal stitches!

"This is a thank-you to everyone in the NHS from all the people who are wanting to express their gratitude."

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