Joan Mary Welburn
In 1999 Joan began to realise that she was not really managing Gunshole Farm and that life was becoming difficult, being in such an isolated situation. For six months or so she looked at houses further south in Otley and then decided that she felt unable to leave the countryside that she knew so well. She managed to run the smallholding for a further 5 years, with the help of Thomas who had made the property look well organised and well kept over the years, adding fences as well as gardening.
In late 2004 Joan contacted Genevieve and made it clear that she felt that she must move and after some consideration about were to live, she decided on a large 1950ís house in Brampton on a quiet estate. The decision to buy was made in early December and she was able to move in on the 24th Jan 2005, equipped with a proportion of the furniture from Gunshole and most of her belongings.
Over those months, her health had been such that moving was quite difficult but fortunately as we had not yet put Gunshole on the market there was always time to go back and sort things out. At about this time it became apparent that the building was suffering from considerable subsidence and so the preparation for sale was going to be complex. The main issue was that Joan was able to move smoothly and quickly and get the necessary prompt medical care locally in Brampton.
It took about nine months working at odd times to clear the farmhouse and sort through the historical items, and clear out the rubbish. During this time the building was investigated with a view to sort out the subsidence ready for an interested purchaser. In September 2005 the interest party withdrew and fortunately by December a family agreed to purchase the property as it was with a view to moving in the middle of 2006. It was a delight to deal with people who understood the building and longed to live there.
A fall in summer 2005, knocked Joan back somewhat and in the winter she went done with pneumonia, having had a cataract operation in about November. By this time she had regular help every day and was able to stay at home despite being seriously ill. She began to accept that not being able to hear people was that her hearing was failing and this made life difficult although every one made the necessary effort to communicate with her. As 2006 passed she became frailer but still managed at home and was able to enjoy a small family Christmas. In 2007 she started to have a number of falls and being unable to get up from them, had to call on the local services. She had three short stays in Brampton Hospital which she enjoyed and when every the occasion arouse, she refused to be taken to the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle. At Brampton the food was excellent, she was very well cared for and "they treated her as sensible".
The second half of 2007 saw considerable improvement in her health and for the first time ever she painted her own Christmas card for printing. She entered 2008 fairly energetically.
Her health was generally good throughout 2008 and by the end on the year a second cataract operation was planned so as to optimise her sight as her deafness was causing considerable frustration.
She jumped, for the first time ever, at the chance to go to Otley for Christmas, enjoyed it immensely, seeing two new babies and a puppy and taking a keen interest in the scenery on the journeys.
Within 18 hours of returning home, apparently well, except for a slight sore throat which she had over the 3 days of Christmas, Joan became seriously ill and was admitted to the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and put on intravenous antibiotics and fluids.
She was well cared for until she finally faded away
peacefully on Monday at 5.40pm. She in fact had pneumonia, probably viral,
and her heart began to fail not being able to keep up a viable blood
pressure. Throughout those hours in hospital, she was comfortable and very
well treated with all her needs being met.
For someone who have lived nearly on her own for 24 years on an isolated farm, she quickly adapted to live with up to 4 different carers a day and continual bustle of people in her life. Joan will be sadly missed by many that knew her.