Selfless support

Billy Watson has spent the majority of life caring for others and now, as a resident at Middlesbrough Grange, we are happy to be able to repay (even in a small way as he is still very independent!) some of the selfless support he has provided to the local community over the years.

Billy moved into Middlesbrough Grange with his beloved wife Jean this year, with the inseparable couple sharing a room.

Sadly, they were only together for three months before Jean passed away, but memories of her are everywhere to be seen in Billy’s room, including a large picture of her on the wall next to his bed.

He’s even planning for them to be together again one day.

“Jean didn’t want to be buried so she asked for her ashes to be put in a vault and when it’s my time, I will give her a kiss and take my place next to her,” says Billy.

“We were married for 67 years and were inseparable, and I miss her every day.”

At the age of 91, Billy is the last surviving member of St John’s Ambulance in Middlesbrough.

After witnessing an accident at work and wishing he knew how to do first aid, he joined the joined the service in 1962 and retired after 45 years of being devoted to his work as a volunteer paramedic.

During this time, he has helped save many lives, including performing CPR on a plane when a man became ill, and also resuscitating a neighbour who had a heart attack.

He went on to train more than 50 young cadets and even demonstrated the ‘kiss of life’ to Princess Anne during a Royal visit.

As well as pictures of Jean and his family (he has four children and over 20 grandchildren and great-grandchildren, his room at Middlesbrough Grange is also adorned with photographs of him in uniform and some of the certificates and medals he received as a result of his service for St John Ambulance. This includes the highest achievement in the service, the St John of Jerusalem award.

A religious man, he refers to his room at Middlesbrough Grange as “my church”.

“I like living here, the staff are all very nice and can’t do enough for me,” he says.

Billy has many wonderful stories/anecdotes, such as how he surprised Jean after they got married by using the £35 (a lot of money back then) he had saved up to buy them a house, and also what happened when a neighbour knocked on their day to see if he could help because a man had fallen and broken his leg.

Billy recalls: “I went out to see him and the neighbour was correct, his leg was broken, he just hadn’t told me it was a wooden leg!

“I still fixed him by taping and screwing the leg together so he could get home.”

Why Choose Constantia Healthcare?

Residential & Nursing Care

Providing a homely, safe and secure environment for your loved ones

Respite & Day Care

Looking after your loved ones while you have a well-earned rest and break

Alzheimers & Dementia Care

Specialist care for people with complex needs at Roseleigh in Middlesbrough

Varied Activity Programme

Stimulating body and mind with an ever-changing schedule