Family vows to ‘break gran, 82, out of care home’ and even if it ‘means jail’

A woman has said she is willing to risk jail in order to spend one last Christmas with her mum.

Lisa Cowan’s 82-year-old mum Marion Panzica has leukaemia and suffers from the lung condition COPD. It's also suspected she may have the first signs of dementia.

During lockdown, Marion's family say, she has become despondent, confused, and no longer recalls the name of her beloved great-grandson. Her family feel strongly that she needs a stay at home with them for her mental wellbeing.

But because of her prescribed cancer medication, Marion has a "Deprivation of Liberty Order" and the care home has told her daughter Lisa Cowan that she needs to meet with a social worker to arrange to bring her home for contact with her loved ones.

Lisa, 54, says she's been trying since July to get Oldham Council to assign a social worker, to no avail.

Marion, a mum-of-four who in her younger days worked as a nanny in New York, no longer remembers the name of her beloved great-grandson, Sam and, although she has seen her new baby great-granddaughter Sienna through a window, she cannot recall her name.

Lisa says she's now ready to take matters into her own hands to bring Marion home, regardless of any legal repercussions. The family, she says, are willing to get tested for the virus to make sure they keep Marion safe.

She told the Manchester Evening News: "Every time we booked in a visit it seemed like Covid would hit the home.

"Now all I can do is tap the window to say hello. My mum is very poorly and this might be her last Christmas. If they don't sort it we'll take her, and if it means me going to jail so be it."

Marion, who has shown no Covid symptoms despite twice testing positive, is among thousands of residents in Greater Manchester to suffer due to the heavy visiting restrictions amid the region's high infection rates.

Oldham Council is dealing with Marion's case because she lived in the borough before moving to the care home in Droylsden.

An Oldham Council spokesman said: "Oldham's Adult Social Care Team are aware of the request from Marion’s family to take her to a family home for Christmas and we would ordinarily always want to support contact with family.

"Marion's allocated Social Worker will be working closely with Marion and her family to progress this request accordingly, ensuring decisions are made in Marion’s best interest and in a safe and timely manner.

"As we live in these challenging times we also want to work with the family to ensure this can be undertaken safely and that our responsibilities for managing safety issues at the care home are also met."

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