Record breaking Lillian follows in family footsteps
8th March 2011
At the age of 100, Lillian Dedman has just become our oldest member.
Lillian – who has never had any hospital treatment in her life – was inspired to join the Society when she saw the excellent service her sister received when she was referred for an operation at Benenden Hospital several years ago.
Lillian’s niece, Pauline who is also a member, worked at Benenden Hospital for more than 20 years as PA to the then Hospital Director, John Aldersley and latterly, Ken Hesketh (now Chief Executive of the Society).
Lillian, who remains completely fit and well and with support from her family lives on her own, was moved by the Society’s ethos of mutual support.
At Lillian’s request, niece Pauline made the call to the Society on her behalf.
Pauline said: ‘As a family we have a history with Benenden and as members my son had orthopaedic surgery at Benenden Hospital in Kent and my granddaughter had an operation to remove a lump from under her arm when she was just 12 months old. This was a very worrying time for us but we were always reassured by the values and ethos that Benenden upholds’.
James Russell, Membership Enrolment Executive took the call. He said: ‘I thought nothing of it until I collated her details and realised she was 100 years old. The changes she must have seen throughout her lifetime must be extraordinary.’
Lillian was eligible to join having worked for the Civil Services earlier in her life. She remembers visiting the Hospital and being enamoured by the beautiful surroundings and delighted with the professional and dedicated service her sister received.
Lillian said: ‘Should I ever have to go into hospital at my age, then it will have to be Benenden Hospital in Kent!’
On her 100th birthday Lillian celebrated in style with a family lunch in Kent and a fanfare carronade by the Chattenham Army Brigade. Her nephew, pianist Jools Holland, arranged the event on her behalf.
The oldest member previously stood at 92 years in 2009.