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Former nurse dedicates 88th birthday to NHS staff working through coronavirus outbreak

A former community nurse has dedicated her 88th birthday to NHS staff and other key workers with a song to "cheer everyone up" during the coronavirus outbreak.

Marion Hearse, who lives in Margam, turned 88 on Thursday and was due to celebrate the day with a family meal in mid Wales.

18 relatives were supposed to attend, but strict measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus and protect the vulnerable meant it had to be cancelled.

Instead she decided to sing 'I Whistle a Happy Tune' from the musical The King and I, dedicating it to "all our brave heroes in the NHS".

Marion had a 'virtual party' with her family members instead. Credit: Ros Causey

Marion wanted to volunteer when the Welsh Government called for former healthcare workers to return to work.

Sharing the video of her mother online, Ros Causey said: "Born in 1932 in the Welsh mining village of Deri, Glamorgan, Marion wanted to be a nurse since she was a little girl.

"She started nurse training aged 16, after passing her SRN, she qualified as a Queen's district nurse, then spent most of her career in community-based nursing.

"When the call came for retired nurses to help, Marion wanted to volunteer too, but then laughed and said, 'I probably couldn’t do much', so she is singing to cheer everyone up and thank all our brave heroes in the NHS, supermarkets, transport, cleaning, all the services. Big thank you all."

Marion is among thousands of others sharing their appreciation for NHS workers during the coronavirus outbreak.

A national salute is set to take place on Thursday evening to honour NHS staff.

In a gesture of appreciation to frontline medical personnel, people across the nation have been invited to join a mass round of applause from their doorsteps, windows and balconies.

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