“It was so unexpected”
Hannah Packham, Junior Sister in our Acute Dependency Unit, was sent a gift by a member of the public last week after she appeared in a BBC report at the start of the year.
In January, we invited the BBC in to talk to staff about their experiences of Covid-19. Hannah talked to the BBC about the pressure on staff, and how she and the team coped with the stresses of the job.
Last week, Hannah received an unexpected present donated by local artist Emily Watson, who had seen the BBC report in January, and painted a picture of Hannah, which she’d also had framed for her.
Back at the start of January, Hannah told the BBC: “Our colleagues are more like family. You can rant and rave and cry and no-one holds it against you. I personally cry quite a lot when I get home at the moment.
“We are suffering with sleep problems – I think a lot of doctors and nurses are the same. You just have to relax on your days off as best as you can, ready and prepping yourself to come back.”
Speaking this week, Hannah said: “It was such an unexpected present, and so kind of Emily. I also had a lot of staff come up to me when the BBC report was broadcast saying thank you for being so honest.
“It was all a bit strange, but I think it helped St George’s get the message across about Covid, and what the impact on staff was.”
The BBC report from St George’s in which Hannah featured was viewed 3.2 million times on Instagram alone.
Hannah added: “It is still a difficult time, and many of us are still anxious coming on shift about what lies ahead that day. But early January was so, so intense for everyone – so it is a little bit calmer now. All the staff are working so hard to keep each other afloat – and we still get so many kind words from members of the public.”
Well done to Hannah, and thank you to Emily for such a kind gift, plus Steve Blundall, who has championed the painting and helped raised money locally for the NHS.