WHEN Judy Green was diagnosed with cancer in the middle of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, she feared it could not have come at a worse time.

The mother of two and grandmother of four, from Whitefield, had been for a routine mammogram early in March when doctors gave her the news.

Ms Green was told she had early stage breast cancer and needed urgent surgery and radiotherapy.

She said: “It was obviously a shock to be diagnosed, but for it to happen at a time when services were about to be placed under such extreme pressure was even more unfortunate."

Following her diagnosis Ms Green was taken into the care of Rochdale Infirmary where she started her treatment.

At the outbreak of the pandemic the hospital had been specially remodelled to treat patients requiring urgent cancer-related procedures from around Greater Manchester.

Thankfully her surgery was successful, and Ms Green is now back at home recovering and receiving follow up care.

She has since praised the hospital and its staff for her "excellent" care, "despite the challenges face by the NHS", who she said 'allayed all her fears'.

"Nothing was too much trouble for staff at Rochdale Infirmary, and across the Pennine Acute Trust, to make me feel comfortable and relaxed, and the nurses in particular were so helpful and informative,” she added.

To pass the time during her lockdown recovery, and until she can return to her podiatry practice, Ms Green has joined her local ScrubHub group.

Through the voluntary group she is making fabric scrubs outfits for hospital staff across Bury, Oldham and Rochdale, to support them during the Covid-19 pandemic.

She added: “I would like to thank all of the NHS workers I have met recently, for their friendly yet professional approach during such uncertain times.

"Many of the staff had moved from their usual roles and locations to help where needed without complaint, and I will always be grateful for this exemplary treatment and will continue to be an appreciative supporter of our NHS.”

To help deal with the coronavirus outbreak, and ensure patients have access to the vital care they need, parts of Rochdale Infirmary were remodelled earlier this year.

The hospital is now able to treat cases which would usually have been dealt with by other hospitals run by the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group ­— which includes Fairfield General Hospital.

Steve Taylor, managing director for Bury and Rochdale Care Organisation, said: “As the Covid-19 crisis began to accelerate it became clear to us that there was a need for us to respond and adapt quickly in order to create capacity for patients requiring urgent cancer surgery in Greater Manchester.

“It’s fantastic news that Mrs Green has been successfully treated and is now recovering well at home, we wish her the very best and continued good health in the future.”