A 101-YEAR-OLD woman has met her latest great-grandchild for the first time after restrictions were eased.

Grace Emery, who is a resident at Redwalls Nursing Home in Sandiway, was delighted when six-month-old Xander – her 14th great-grandchild – paid her a visit.

Little Xander’s visit adds to a special April for Grace, who celebrated turning her milestone birthday earlier in the month.

Brought into the Weaverham Road home by Grace’s daughter Pauline Hutchinson, Xander happily sat and played on her bed.

Pauline said: “I was thrilled to be able visit my mum and introduce her to her youngest great-grandchild, Xander for the very first time.

Northwich Guardian: Grace with her 14th great-grandchild XanderGrace with her 14th great-grandchild Xander

“Grace was 101 on April 4 and has been confined to bed for two years, making family visits virtually impossible for nearly a year.

“Xander’s middle name is Zane, meaning Grace, named after his great grandma.

“When I carried him into his great-grandma’s room Grace firstly looked surprised and then smiled widely.

“Xander spent a happy 45 minutes sitting on her bed, laughing and playing.

“Grace watched him all the time with a gentle smile on her face.

“She quite naturally held his hand and put her arms around him to hold him steady.

“This visit was very special. When he is older, Xander will be told of how he visited his remarkable great-grandma for the first time during the coronavirus pandemic.

“It certainly is a very special milestone in our family’s history.”

READ MORE > Northwich care home residents allowed a second visitor from April 12

Up until April 12 care home residents in Cheshire West were only allowed one named visitor.

But, following the news there are no Covid-19 outbreaks at the borough’s care homes, restrictions have eased to allow residents to have two named visitors.

Babies and young children are not counted among the two visitors and so are able to come into the home with a named adult.

The staff at the care home, which is run by Kingsley Healthcare, have taken good care of their residents during the pandemic – something for which Pauline is very grateful for.

She added: “They are all amazing.”

Jodie Solaiman, activities coordinator at Redwalls, was delighted to share a moment which captured the sheer joy of the lockdown easing for care home residents.

She said: “It was such a special and precious moment, she lifted her arm up and put it around six-month-old Xander and held him tight.

“He was full of smiles and giggles when meeting his great-grandma Grace.”

Home administrator Sally Mault said: “As guidelines around care home visiting have been relaxed, staff were very excited to see a baby in the building again.”

Grace, who also has eight grandchildren, has been a resident at Redwalls for a number of years now after moving out of Pauline’s Frodsham home.

The centenarian moved to Cheshire after the death of her husband Bill in 2001 in order to be closer to two of her children – Pauline and John.

The eldest of eight children, Grace was born on April 4, 1920, and grew up in the Warwickshire countryside before she was sent to a boarding school in Weston-super-mare at the age of 10.

From there, she entered nursing school in Birmingham and was one of the first intakes in the then new Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

During the Second World War, Grace lived and worked under the constant threat of air raids, where hospital wards had scant equipment and boarded up windows.

Grace married Bill in 1948 and gave birth to twins Pauline and Graham in 1950, while John was born in 1954.

Bill, who worked as an Her Majesty’s Inspector of technical colleges, and Grace lived in Birkenhead, Solihull, Southport and Bristol before moving back to Warwickshire.

Following Bill’s death in 2001, Grace moved up to Cheshire to be near Pauline and John.

Before moving into Redwalls she lived at Pauline’s house in Kingswood, near Frodsham.

Jodie went on to say: “Grace, who has three children, eight grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren, has always been guided by her very strong Christian faith and has been a wonderful example to friends and family over the years.”