Singer, Russell Watson surprises care home resident


Singer, Russell Watson surprised care home resident, Don Done sending him a personalised 80th birthday wish during his busy touring schedule.


Don has been a fan of Russell Watson for many years and has watched him live at the Philharmonic, Liverpool a number of times.  Activities Staff, Laura Coghlan-Adam said “Don absolutely loves Russell Watson, he even has a photograph on the window ledge in his bedroom of the two of them when they met at a concert.”


“I thought it would be a great surprise for Don on his 80th Birthday if I could get Russell to record a personal message for him. It didn’t take long before I received the video recording from Russell’s team.”


“When I received the birthday recording, I showed the message to Don on his lap top. Don was over the moon and when I asked him how it made him feel he said, ‘I am very impressed’.”


Donald Done (prefers to be called Don) has lived at Stocks Hall Care Home in St Helens, Lancashire since May 2013.  Previously Don was self-employed for 25 years as a time served Sheet Metal Worker.  At the age of 21 he also fulfilled 2 years National Service.


He lived with his wife Brenda in Ashton in Makerfield, but sadly, Brenda passed away in August 2012. Two weeks later, Don fell whilst walking his Nephews dog in Fish Gardens, South Wales.  He suffered from concussion, and later when he was at his Nephews house, he fell down the stairs which led to him being paralysed from the neck down.


Don was admitted to a local hospital, before being sent to Cardiff International Spinal Unit. He stayed there for 9 weeks and was then transferred to Southport Spinal Unit via an ambulance. Don was disappointed because he thought he was being transferred by a helicopter but instead went by an ambulance! 


Don was also an active sports player when he was younger enjoyed playing squash at his local squash courts. It kept him active for many years and contributed to his physical and mental well-being.  One of Don’s favourite past times is music, he is a fond lover of lots of music and enjoys other singers such as, Buddy Holly, Bowie and Mick Hucknall.  Don recently went to watch, ‘The Buddy Holly Story’ with his daughter at the Empire Theatre, Liverpool. 


Don has two daughters, Denise and Heather.  Don comments “I would be lost without my daughters in my life, they are a credit to me.” 


Don celebrated his 80th birthday at Bents Garden Centre, near Warrington with his family and a few close friends. This was a surprise party that was organised by his daughters. He was able to see his Granddaughters, Amy, Lesha and Grandson, Andrew. He also got to meet his Niece’s Daughter, Lucy who is two.


Don also celebrated his birthday with his extended family and friends at Stocks Hall Care Home.  Don was overwhelmed with the effort the home had gone to celebrate his special day.  Activities Staff Laura said “Don received flowers, a bottle of Prosecco and a fish platter as we know how much Don loves sea food.”  His bedroom and lounge area at the home was also decorated with birthday banners, balloons and cards that he had received.”  Don said “Thank you so much, the care I receive at Stocks Hall is excellent.”


Don still remains very independent and communicates via email using a programme on his laptop called, ‘Dragon’. This is controlled by voice recognition which means that he can access the internet, send emails and even watch films in the comfort of his bedroom. He has already sent this video to his family and friends all over the world. 


Activities Staff, Laura concludes “Working in a person centred way means that everything we do focuses on the individual and what’s important to them. It is a pleasure working for such a great company, making special memories like this happen.”


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