Cornerstone Team Leader, Susan Reilly, has paid tribute to Katie, who was supported for over 21 years by Susan and her team at our Clydebank services.

Katie was born in 1962 and moved into the care of Cornerstone at our Ailsa Drive service when she was 36, where she began to flourish. She lived with three other supported women there, two of who came from the same place and moved into the service on the same day. Although very quiet to begin with, her personality began to shine through. 

Although unable to communicate verbally, Katie always found ways of showing her feelings as well as her needs and wants through expressions and actions, and always with an infectious smile on her face! Constantly smiling and giggling, it was easy for those around her to see how happy she was. Despite her disability, Katie was very much a people person, and she loved nothing more than going out every day with her support team to visit the local shops and enjoy pub lunches where she could interact with people around her and people watch.

She also had no interest in footwear, and it was not uncommon for passers-by to hand over her discarded shoes and socks found in the street! Katie loved to go on holiday with her support team, and she enjoyed many exciting trips to places like Blackpool, Gran Canaria, and Majorca, and in particular Disneyland Paris!

She loved a variety of music from country and western, to pop music, or rock ‘n’ roll, and was in her element when she could visit the theatre to enjoy a musical or pantomime where there was lots of singing. When coronavirus restrictions meant the theatres were closed, Katie was unfazed and enjoyed her music fix through musical Disney films and Dirty Dancing.

Katie sadly suffered from poor health during 2020. After a short stay in hospital, Katie was able to come home however four days later tested positive for COVID-19 in February 2021. Service Team Leader Susan Reilly and Fay Buchan both chose to isolate with Katie to ensure that she was given the utmost care and attention whilst she fought the virus. Other staff members Jennifer McIntyre and Sandra Killen also decided to work alternate sleepovers in the service to support the other three ladies to minimise risk of spreading the virus in the service.  Sadly, Katie’s health deteriorated, and she died on 16th February 2021.

Katie was supported to the end by Susan and Fay. Despite having no biological family, our support teams demonstrated the true values of Cornerstone by ensuring Katie felt loved and supported throughout her life, and particularly at the end. Susan explained,

“I was able to support Katie to the very end and I’ve always felt grateful for that. I’ve always had a passion for providing proper care to the people we support, and I’m so glad we were able to provide that for Katie who was a part of the Cornerstone family.”