A brave nurse from Blackpool Victoria Hospital has posted on her Facebook profile about the Covid-19 situation.
Rachel Sutcliffe boldly shared her story of catching coronavirus and about her recovery
She wrote the below on her Facebook page:
“I wasn’t going to write anything about my current situation, mainly for fear of it looking like I was seeking attention. But having spoken to my friends today…..and hearing about how many people seem to be defying lockdown advice I felt maybe I did need to speak up and share my story….in the hope that maybe it would make people think twice about their actions and hopefully start taking this situation seriously.
As many of you know, I’m a single mum of 4 beautiful young children. Sophie 9, Olivia 7, Hannah 5 and Evelyn 3. I bring them up alone and rely heavily on my parents for help, they’re in their 60s. By helping me like they do they enable me to continue pursuing my career. I work as a nurse for the nhs at Blackpool vic. I work on an acute medical ward….ward 12. And Iv worked there 15 yrs. it’s predominately a gastro ward but like many of the wards at BVH we have been changed to accommodate the ever growing covid population. I do nursing because I love it and I want to help others.
When covid-19 first came about lots of panic set in. Worry about what to envisage and anticipate. I worried about how I would keep my family safe and yet I yearned to be able to do my bit as a nurse to help people and help through these unprecedented times. I care for very sick people, some of them very lonely. Some of them could well be your family and friends. But 27 days ago I made the heart wrenching decision that I would send my girls to my parents and stop having contact with them. Do u know how hard that was??! It has killed me. I have cried every day not being able to hold them. But I knew that by working at the hospital I posed a great risk to them….and yes they are young and fit and healthy….but what if they pass this deadly virus on to my parents as well. How would I live with myself if that happened. The outcome is too unbearable to think about and really it was a no brainer.
So a week passed. And another week. I had the children crying on the fone to me constantly that they missed me. Of course I missed them even more but I had to say to them it was the right decision. I hated being at home knowing my parents were struggling with my 4 girls plus their foster children. I decided I just had to work extra shifts. It stopped me feeling guilty that I was at home alone ‘doing nothing’ and I had this urgency of wanting to be with my colleagues and being alongside them with this fight. But boy I felt guilty knowing I was putting myself at more risk too after promising my girls I’d always be there for them. Every nite tho on FaceTime before my shifts I promised the girls I would be fine.
So Iv rocked up for work. Doing 60+ hrs a week. Joking with my colleagues that Iv never worked this many hours in a year let alone a week. (I have of course been off a lot on maternity leave over the years!!). But it’s been great to be part of such an amazing team and to feel my confidence grow. And ultimately to feel like I’m making a difference. But over the last fortnight things changed.
Work became emotional. I didn’t run away though. Suddenly we have patients who were meant to go home but they got struck down with this virus. We went from making plans for them going home, to me ringing their loved ones saying they had deteriorated suddenly and then they had died. We went from saving lives to feeling helpless. And then one by one we have seen our colleagues fall. Succumbing to the dire effects this virus can have. I can’t describe to you how heart wrenching this feels not only as a nurse who wants to do the very best for her patients….but to see your fellow colleagues cry and be upset…..and suffer…..the same strongest people who deal with the most difficult and tragic of circumstances on a daily basis. Suddenly your heart begins to break and you begin to feel your vulnerability as a human being.
At this point I thought to myself I can’t be away from my girls anymore. I need them more than ever. I just need to hold them. But still I feared the risk I posed to them. I ummed and ahhed what to do. I cried….again. They did too. But I thought no I need to carry on……I’m wearing my “adequate PPE” that the health secretary tells u all about (which is bull) and I stood my ground and carried on doing my job. But sadly I was not immune. And just as I was at breaking point i suddenly became incredibly ill.
At first I thought maybe it’s the long hours….maybe it’s the stress of the situation. Maybe it’s in my head. But no. I was tested for Covid-19 and I became another head count to that ever growing number. I can’t begin to tell you how much my heart sank when I was told I was positive.
I am 36 yrs old and have no underlying conditions (other than a prosecco soaked liver 😂) but boy Iv suffered the last ten days. Iv had to be taken to a&e when my condition worsened and Iv been given antibiotics for a secondary chest infection that’s developed. Hardest thing isn’t the pain I endure…..it’s having to face time my girls pretending I’m ok so they don’t know I’m unwell. They cry with worry about me catching coronavirus so how the hell do I tell them that mummy has actually caught it when I promised I’d be ok. I feel like a fraud not being honest with them…..even more so when they say when it’s over Mummy coz we need u. 😩😩😩😩
So my point in this long winded status…..lockdown is in place for a reason. It is working. Don’t give up folk. Don’t think u won’t succumb to it. Don’t think nipping to the shop is ‘ok’. I was shocked I have caught this virus but I guess it was inevitable with my job. But I can’t tell u enough how shocking I feel. I’m still not recovered. But I’m so so fortunate I’m fighting it…. albeit slowly. Don’t let something tragic happen before u take it seriously. We have to make sacrifices. Big sacrifices at the time but small in the grand scheme of things. Stay at home and tell everyone else to do the same. We have to fight this together.
I do feel I’m doing my bit….Iv given up seeing my children and I’m working as many hours as I can. Yes, I’m now ill but as soon as I’m better il be back on the front line doing it all again, not knowing if il catch it again. But please please please do your bit too.if I can do this u can too. I beg u 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼”
We here at Lytham St Annes news wish Rachel Sutcliffe a speedy recovery.