"A thank you to those who cared for my dad"
About: General practices in Greater Glasgow & Clyde General practices in Greater Glasgow & Clyde NHS 24 / NHS 24 (111 service) NHS 24 NHS 24 (111 service) Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow / Acute Receiving Unit Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow Acute Receiving Unit Glasgow G51 4TF Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow / Breathing and lung problems Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow Breathing and lung problems Glasgow G51 4TF Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow / General medicine Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow General medicine Glasgow G51 4TF Scottish Ambulance Service Scottish Ambulance Service EH12 9EB
Posted by hoc majorum virtus (as ),
To all of those working and caring during this time,
My father passed away on Saturday 11th April. He was one of many who have, and will continue to be beaten by the Coronavirus.
As unthinkably painful as his death is to all his family and friends, it is possible to find some slight comfort in the knowledge of everyone who helped care for him in his last days. This is a thank you to those people. The country already thanks you all every Thursday at 8pm but on behalf of my father, we would like to thank, individually, everyone that we witnessed genuinely making a difference from the start of this awful experience until its end:
The nurse at the 24 hour Coronavirus assessment unit, who sympathetically received and professionally triaged my father.
The unstoppable force that was my father’s social worker, who has always made it her mission to get things done and to help with good humour and a big heart.
Glasgow’s Golden Generation charity, who delivered us a free food package, donated by a supermarket, whilst we quarantined at home.
The stranger and the neighbour who bought and delivered my dad’s favourite newspaper, giving him some normality in what was a very surreal time.
My father’s GP, who was calm and kind and knew exactly what referral was needed to help us at home.
The local pharmacists, who got to know my father and who did what they could to help us overcome the challenges.
The women who were two of a kind and who, despite everything, pushed all constraints of time, and got my dad the adaptions and supplements he needed to stay at home safely, and maintain his sorely fought independence for just that little bit longer. They showed their compassion and patience in abundance.
The doctor who called back from NHS24 and really listened when we noticed that my father had deteriorated.
The over-worked but professional ambulance team, who kept their calm in the midst of mayhem and fear, and got my dad safely to the hospital.
The mostly invisible acute admission team, that must have worked hard with my father and did everything they could to successfully stabilize him.
The young doctors, who amongst doing critical work, took the time to call us and keep us informed.
The newly qualified nurse in the receiving unit, who gave so much of the very little time she had to my dad. And the army of students, re-distributed staff and health care assistants who supported her.
The young ARU doctor who, at the end of a shift, was kind, spoke honestly and answered all the questions, even the hard ones.
The ARU consultant, who told us the truth but still managed to give hope.
The porters who, despite new and ever-changing pressures, remained gentle and discreet.
The male ward nurse who recognised that time was of the essence in fulfilling my father’s wishes, and who did what he could to prioritise them.
The doctor who stayed with us and cared for my father, whilst he used all of his willpower and fortitude to make his last wishes concrete.
The lawyers firm who moved fast and did everything in their power to make those same wishes a reality.
The ward nurse with the multi-coloured hair clip, and the nightshift third generation nurse who shared with us, and really listened to and cared for my father.
The healthcare assistants who carried out personal care, who gave him his last ever meal and cup of tea. They did what they could to keep his worried family calm and help them to feel grounded in what felt like a surreal hell.
The cleaners who just took the time to smile at us, and who do an incredible job under the circumstances.
The hospital security guards who did their job with kindness and understanding.
The hospital cafe and shop workers who turned up, stayed open, and fed and caffeinated the person who stayed with my dad.
And finally, the palliative care nurse who had the name and calming demeanour of a saint. He really took the time to get to know my dad and used his expertise and skill to make sure my dad felt no pain, no anxiety and no fear as he slipped away from us.
Every one of you mostly invisible people, and many more, still unmentioned, keep working when the rest of the world must hibernate. Every single one of you has a family of your own and yet somehow, every morning you make the decision to overcome your own inevitable fear in this unstable landscape. You leave the safety of your home and go out to help others who are in greater need. Those who are vulnerable, sick, infected, and sometimes, dying.
I hope the world really recognises what a heroic commute to work this is. Every single day.
When Thursday night comes I hope that people clap. I hope they bang pots, play music, even sing and dance. I hope they celebrate your sacrifice as loud as they can. Not because the government tells them to, and even in spite of whatever private thoughts they may have about who is to blame for all of this loss.
Because those who bravely care and show love to others in this world at this time especially, deserve every single decibel of gratitude.
On behalf of my father, thank you all.