Nurse’s letter to those with loved-ones in hospital

A nurse has written a moving letter to those with loved ones ­hospitalised due to coronavirus.

She tells them: “We gave up the luxury of social distancing so we can hold their hands.”

Rebecca Heseltine, 25, who works on the acute medical unit at St Georges Hospital, Tooting, South London, has seen six die in a single day on her 54-bed ward and has to regularly bar distraught visitors from seeing sick relatives.

She said: “We are seeing fast deterioration and deaths with tiny windows for relatives to say goodbye, or not at all. I wrote this hoping it would resonate with someone.”

Know that we are caring for your mum, dad, brother, sister or friend just a little harder right now.

We gave up the luxury of social distancing so we can stand close and hold their hands.

Know that we have been known to stretch our old, wired-to-the- wall phones across bays so they can speak to you, and that we would move heaven and earth to put you at ease just by hearing their voice. Know that calling you with bad news is something that we will never get used to.

Know that even contemplating shattering someones world via telephone makes our stomachs churn in a way that we have never felt before, and that nothing will ever make that feel right.

You must know that we stay with them until you get there. If you can get there, that is. But if you cant, know that we are there to hold the ward iPad up with stinging, tear-filled eyes as you try to find the words to say goodbye. Know that we do every single possible thing to make sure that they are comfortable, and that they know that they are loved, and will never be alone.

We know how daunting it must be to have to put on full PPE and gingerly stand next to a very sick and very scared person. We know what its like to cry with a mask on.

We know that trying to do that in the allotted 15 minutes you are allocated will probably be the most difficult thing you will ever do.

Perhaps you dont know that we shut ourselves in cupboards and break down. Hide in side room toilets to compose ourselves before re-entering this alternate dimension that is the hospital in the current climate. No amount of claps, or food deliveries, or Facebook posts about how great the NHS and its staff are ever prepared us for the sheer devastation we stare in the face every single day.

We hear you, we care, and dont forget that you are important too.

We will be there, both for you and for the people you care about the most until the bitter end. Its what we do.


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