The family of an Oswaldtwistle midwife, who died of a rare brain condition, have been fundraising to keep her legacy alive. 

Marysia Jane Swiatczak, who was a midwife at the East Lancashire Hospital trust for more than 30 years, died of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease on October 1, 2023.

The disease is described as a rare and fatal condition that affects the brain. It causes brain damage that worsens rapidly over time.

In her honour, Joseph Swiatczak, Marysia's husband, embarked on a fundraising mission to create a lasting tribute to her memory.

He has raised more than £3,500 so far and the money used will used to get a memorial bench and will also be donated to charities close to Marysia’s heart.

A memorial tree has also been planted for Marysia at Calf Hey Reservoir.

Joseph also donated £1,000 to East Lancashire Hospice, who was cared for at the hospice for 12 weeks.

Lancashire Telegraph: Memorial tree planted for Marysia Swiatczak at Calf Hey ReservoirMemorial tree planted for Marysia Swiatczak at Calf Hey Reservoir (Image: Joseph Swiatczak)

Marysia's devotion to her role as a midwife was described as unparalleled, making her an inspiring leader in the birth suite.

Her love for her job and the families she served was so profound that, even after her initial retirement, she returned to the birth suite at Burnley General Teaching Hospital as a healthcare assistant.

Recognising Rhyddings Park, in Oswaldtwistle, as a place Marysia often referred to as her 'front garden', Joseph raised funds for a memorial bench in this location, where Marysia had created countless memories with loved ones.

Beyond the memorial bench, the Swiatczak family directed donations towards local charities close to Marysia's heart, including Friends of Serenity, a chairt aimed at sick and pregnant women and those who suffer miscarriage, still birth or neonatal death.

Marysia, in her midwifery role, had worked with Friends of Serenity, providing support to bereaved families throughout East Lancashire.

One significant project that Marysia was passionate about was the Tree of Life appeal, launched by Friends of Serenity.

The appeal aims to raise £50,000 for a four metre high sculpture to be located in the internal courtyard of the Lancashire Women’s and Newborn Centre (LWNC) at Burnley General Hospital.

This courtyard space will serve as a place of reflection and comfort for those who have experienced the loss of a baby, extending to other losses including treasured staff members.

Marysia’s husband and son, Joseph and Dominic, presented a cheque for £1,000 to Friends of Serenity, specifically designated for the Tree of Life project.

Lancashire Telegraph:  Marysia Swiatczak Marysia Swiatczak (Image: Joseph Swiatczak)

Friends of Serenity founder, Joanne Edwards, expressed her gratitude, saying, "Marysia was a truly beautiful, kind, and generous lady, who always beamed the most wonderful heartfelt smile.

"It’s my honour to be able to use these funds to assist with the tree of life appeal, which aims to come to fruition in spring time.

"Marysia will be remembered, and we welcome anyone who knew her to visit the courtyard to take a moment to enjoy happy memories."

Marysia leaves behind her children, Dominic, Alisha and Harry.