In March 2002 The Mail reported that for the following two years Barrow would be home to 15 Filipino nurses, who were in the area to fill a shortage in trained nurses at Furness General Hospital.

Since they had arrived, they had been exposed to sub-zero temperatures, hail, wind, rain and snow.

The 15 trained medical and surgical nurses had landed 16 days previously at Manchester Airport and were assigned to Barrow's FGH and to Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

After an exhausting 24-hour flight their first sight of their new home was obscured by the hail and rain that lashed Barrow in the aftermath of gales which had caused havoc in February 2022.

Mervin Francisco was from Zemboange City in the southern part of the Philippines.

Zemboange was an industrial city, much larger than Barrow.

Mr Francisco, 23, was so enthusiastic about working with patients in Barrow that even the weather could not dampen his spirits.

"The weather is bad but I think it's better for us to start when the weather is worse so we can slowly adjust," he said.

Mr Francisco was a qualified intensive care nurse who would transfer to the coronary care unit in FGH.

He said: "I have been exposed to cardio cases in the Philippines so I'm hoping I will be able to adjust quite easily because I will be dealing with similar cases."

Mr Francisco had left his parents and family to travel to Britain but he had their full support.

He added: "I'm really excited to be working here.

"We will have some breaks while we're here so I'm looking forward to going mountain climbing and I'd like to visit Scotland."

He was sharing a house in Abbey Road with two male colleagues.

Beverly Sajonia, 33, was keeping thoughts of home close to her heart.

The surgical nurse had left her baby, her son and husband to pursue her career.

Her family was behind her every step of the way and the money she sent home to them paid for her children's education.