105-year-old Hamilton patient Ann Konkel grateful for thousands of birthday cards

Ann Konkel's campaign to collect 105 birthday cards was a rousing success as the Hamilton native actually received thousands. Laura Konkel

Former Hamilton nurse and longtime resident Ann Konkel, who turned 105 on July 14, received thousands of birthday cards rather than the hundred or so she was asking for.

“The response has been tremendous. The cards have been arriving from all over Canada, the United States and Europe,” Ann’s granddaughter Laura Konkel told Global News. “She has received almost 2,000 cards and they are still arriving.”

In mid-June, Rotterdam-born Konkel had only one request for her birthday, which was to receive more birthday cards than years she’s lived.

Konkel made the request while spending a rare opportunity amid the COVID-19 pandemic to celebrate with some loved ones in the courtyard of St. Joe’s hospital. Konkel has been in the hospital since May after being admitted to St. Joseph’s for a leg injury.

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Close to 2,000 cards have made their way to Konkel who has many taped all over her room in the hospital.

“The thing that is most spectacular about the cards is how sincere and wonderful they are,” Laura Konkel said. “The cards are coming from both old and young with amazing stories about their own lives and how Ann has inspired them to live a full life.”[readmore label="Read more: " link="" /]Konkel says many of the cards were hand-made with one family sending 21 different cards for the campaign while others came from nurses, post office workers, the Ti-cats and the Dutch ambassador, who also included a coffee table book with photos of the Netherlands.Born in 1915 in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Ann actually lived through another pandemic, the Spanish flu, between 1918 and 1920, which saw an estimated 500 million affected worldwide.[readmore label="Read more: " link="" /]In 1952, Konkel moved to Hamilton with son and husband in tow to take on a number of jobs, including work as an operating nurse at the Henderson hospital (later renamed Juravinski Hospital) until she retired.Anyone who would like to send a greeting to Ann Konkel can still send mail to P.O. Box 10066, Don Mills, Ont., M3C 0J9.[tp_video id=7227106]. Laura Konkel

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