Cornwall Living 2018

An ab fab surprise

Joanna Lumley writes personal letter to a resident of Cedar Grange in Launceston.

Legendary British actress Joanna Lumley, best-known for her role as Patsy Stone in TV’s ‘Absolutely Fabulous’, brought a smile to the face of Susan Beale, a resident at Cedar Grange in Launceston.

Susan has an advanced form of dementia and since February this year has been a resident at Cedar Grange, a 60-bed specialist residential care home with a focus on nursing care for those with dementia, Alzheimer’s and mental health conditions, in Lanstephan, Launceston.

One day, Susan told the home’s manager, Michelle Wray, about her life in London. Susan explained how her neighbour had once been former Bond girl Joanna Lumley. This led to them contacting Joanna’s PA. The much-loved British actress, who has enjoyed parts in shows like The New Avengers, sent a present in return.

Cedar Grange manager, Michelle Wray, says: “Susan began talking to me about Joanna when she saw her on television and told me that when she went shopping and was walking home, Joanna would often pick her up in her sports car and they would go for a ‘jolly good adventure’.”

Michelle continues: “We always take the time to get to know our clients and their life histories. Often, when a short-term memory becomes unreliable because of dementia, a long-term memory remains strong and Susan’s memories of Joanna were very clear. Joanna was unable to visit the home owing to her schedule but she remembered Susan fondly and sent a hand-written note along with a signed copy of her autobiography, which was very gratefully received – talk about making someone’s day!”

The note Joanna Lumley wrote to Susan, which brought a smile to her face, reads: “Dear Susan — if I may, I do hope you enjoy looking through this book which comes to you with my very warmest good wishes and kindest thoughts — love from Joanna.”

Susan and the team at Cedar Grange were delighted to receive the letter and book from Joanna; a really special moment that brought a sparkle to the day.


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