For one family COVID-19 has been a real rollercoaster of emotions as they try to come to terms with everything that has happened over the last few weeks.
Kim Harrison, aged 56, (pictured on the right of the photo, with her mum Sheila on the left) is a patient on Ward 9 of Walsall Manor Hospital who is looking forward to getting home as soon as possible to continue her recovery from the virus. But as she excitedly waits to see her loved ones again she is also dealing with the loss of her mother Sheila Millward who sadly died last weekend after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
Kim’s daughter Emma Hill, aged 28, explained that her mum was recuperating after a fractured pelvis when she contracted the virus, although she showed no symptoms at first.
“Mum does have underlying health conditions as she has arthritis, brittle bones and kidney problems,” said Emma. “She doesn’t have respiratory problems but she went from showing no symptoms to deteriorating quite quickly and struggled to get her breath.
“She was on Ward 20A initially and then moved to Ward 9 where she is at the moment. We’re just waiting for a hospital-type bed to be delivered at home which she needs after fracturing her pelvis after a fall and she can come home which is such a big relief to us. It has been such a worrying time, not being able to see her.”
Emma’s husband Stephen said this had been a bittersweet time for the family as Kim’s mother died last Saturday.
“I have been taking care of the phone calls to the ward because it has been too upsetting for Emma and her brothers and sister and I’ve been sharing all the updates via Whats App,” he said.
“We are happy and sad at the moment – relieved that Kim’s coming home but sorry that she has suffered the loss of her mother.”
Stephen said the family would always be grateful to Clinical Support Worker Ellie Brogan on Ward 9 as she has supported them during this time.
“Ellie went and sat with Kim when I called her to break the news about Sheila,” he said. “She stayed with her and comforted her and did everything we as her family wanted to do and that means a lot. We all have a new respect for NHS staff because it takes guts to go into areas where you know patients have coronavirus when most people would want to run a mile!
“And we know that Ellie is having to stay away from her family at this time which is another sacrifice so many NHS staff are making.”
Kim’s family have purchased an ipad that they have had engraved with the message: “Donated to Ward 9 by Kim Harrison 2020 Coronavirus Survivor” and they have donated this to the ward for other patients to be able to use.
“We just wanted to say thank you and do something to help others,” said Emma.