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Westfield Health welcomes policyholder who says the company saved her life 77 years ago

Graham Moore & Jill Davies presenting flowers to Major Margaret Thomas

We welcomed a longstanding policyholder for afternoon tea after she wrote a letter explaining how we saved her life.

Major Margaret Thomas 82, from Chesterfield, wrote to us to thank us for providing life-saving treatment after she caught rheumatic fever and became extremely ill in 1939, aged six. 

Margaret’s father, a cabinet maker, joined our ‘Penny in the Pound’ scheme when he returned from the trenches after World War 1.

The scheme provided working people with free hospital treatment in return for a weekly contribution of a penny in every pound they earned.

Through ‘Penny in the Pound’, Margaret was able to access treatment and drugs and, after six months, she was able to return to school.

Margaret went on to be a nurse, spending 16 years in service, including two years working long days and nights in Singapore, treating casualties from the Borneo crisis.

In response to Margaret’s letter, our Chairman Graham Moore, arranged for her to visit us.

He said: “As soon as we received Margaret’s letter we knew we wanted to meet her.  It is very gratifying that we played a part in saving her life, and that subsequently it seems to have been a very full and satisfying one.”

The afternoon event held for Margaret began with afternoon tea in the boardroom with our Chairman, Graham Moore and Chief Executive, Jill Davies.

We presented Margaret with a bouquet of flowers and a history of Westfield Health book and ended with a tour of the building.

Margaret said: “At the age of six I was very ill with rheumatic fever and although new treatments were available they were at the time very expensive.

“My father was able to get treatment for me because he belonged to Westfield Health’s ‘Penny in the Pound’ scheme and eventually I recovered and returned to school.

“I wanted to be a nurse so I had to work very hard catching up on my return to school and I eventually went on to enjoy a long and fulfilling career.

“I want to offer my sincere thanks to everyone at Westfield Health for saving my life and giving me a quality of life after the illness.”

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