A WOMAN who dedicated her life to caring for others fought off serious illness to celebrate her 100th birthday.

Betty Don marked her century milestone in Sharston House, on Saturday, surrounded by family and friends.

She was born on January 14, 1911 – the same month that the International Women’s Day was celebrated for the first time.

But Betty’s big day was almost spent in a hospital ward after she was rushed off to Wythenshawe on December 22 for three weeks, including Christmas and New Year’s Day, with an infection.

She returned to Sharston House with just days to spare.

Betty’s daughter Sue Park said: “When you’re that age and you’re that, ill it’s quite a blow to the system.

“We were just thrilled she was able to enjoy the milestone. The room was filled with more than 50 cards.

“The only card that didn’t come was the Queen’s telegram.

“We found it hard to believe especially when the telegram from the Queen comes from her own mail.

“Apparently it had been locked in the safe at Altrincham sorting office. It was so surreal but when it did come she was thrilled.”

Betty, who has two children, four grandchildren and six great grandchildren, lived in Ashley before moving to a residential home.

She is well known in the Greyhound Inn where she used to go for Sunday lunch almost every week.

Betty spent many years working at Great Ormond Street Hospital caring for sick children.

It was during this time that the R101 airship crashed in France in October 1930, killing 48 people.

Sue, from Hale, added: “She was there when thousands of people lined the streets for the funeral procession for all those who died in the crash.”

After that she worked for her father, Charles Wills, who ran a GP practice in Darley Dale, in Derbyshire.

It was there she met her husband, Dr Douglas Don, from Manchester, who visited the surgery as part of a consultation.

“It was just a chance meeting. They probably talked about sport as my father was a good tennis player and so was she.”

When the Second World War broke out, Betty took in evacuees in Hale Barns and Douglas was stationed with the Royal Army Medical Corps in North Africa and Italy.