Prince William and Kate Middleton’s ‘lovely gesture’ to paramedic who died of Covid-19

Prince William and Kate Middleton’s ‘lovely gesture’ to paramedic who died of Covid-19

 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge sent a special bouquet of flowers to the family of a paramedic who died from Covid-19.

On their first stop on a three-day Royal Train tour of Britain, Prince William and Kate visited the Scottish Ambulance Service’s nerve centre at Newbridge, outside Edinburgh.

It emerged during their visit that the couple had made a special gesture to Rod Moore’s family.

The veteran paramedic died last month after he re-enlisted in April four years after his retirement.

The Falkirk 63-year-old’s funeral was due to take place during the royal visit.

A SAS spokesman said: “I know that Rod’s family greatly appreciated the flowers sent on behalf of the Royal Family.

“It was a lovely gesture.”

At the ambulance service’s HQ the Duke and Duchess chatted with staff and heard deeply moving accounts of how many of them have been affected personally during the crisis.

William, dressed in a dark blue coat and tartan scarf, and Kate, wearing a blue Catherine Walker coat and carrying a bag by Scottish designer Strathberry, thanked staff for their incredible efforts in coping with their demanding jobs while many were affected by personal Covid tragedies.

During their visit, it was announced that the Royal couple would become joint patrons of NHS Charities Together, the charity which has worked tirelessly to provide hospitals and emergency workers with vital PPE equipment.

The SAS received funding from NHS Charities Together, a group of 240 NHS charities, which has been spent on indoor and outdoor wellbeing spaces for staff, as well as wellbeing packs with information booklets and reusable water bottles.

Prince William spoke at length with some of the paramedics about how the additional strains of working under the threat of Covid had impacted on their mental wellbeing.

He and Kate also heard how paramedic Alistair Matson, 54, had to cope with his father falling sick and later dying in hospital during the pandemic.

Mr Matson said: ‘It was very emotional talking to the Prince about losing my father.

“He was very anxious to hear how we managed to cope with the mental strains of our job.

“I was helped considerably by the great sense of cameraderie at my work.

“There was never any rush to come back and they have been like another family to me.

“It was really heartening to see the Royal couple here today acknowledging what we do and their thanks means a lot to us.”

His colleague, John Kane, 59, told the Royal couple how he spent three weeks in an induced coma in Edinburgh’s Western General Hospital after contracting the virus.

“I had to be placed on a ventilator for three weeks and placed in an induced coma,” he said.

“It was a terrifying time and the recovery has been slow, but again the SAS has helped that.

“The Prince was particularly interested in how we manage the mental wellbeing of our own staff.”

The couple also made a particular point of thanking the cleaning staff at the unit, telling cleaner Ellen Reeder, 65, that she was “one of the most important people in the whole organisation, keeping everything together.”

Afterwards, Ms Reeder, 65, said: “It was such an honour for me to meet them.

“They kept it secret until this morning, which is just as well or I would have got tongue-tied speaking to them.

“That has really made my day. In fact, I think it has made everyone’s day here to get that appreciation from the Royals.. I am a huge fan.”

Earlier, the Earl and Countess of Strathearn, as they are titled while carrying out official engagements in Scotland, arrived at Edinburgh Waverley after spending the night in the Royal train.

Among the party waiting to greet them was the Lord Provost of Edinburgh’s official piper, Louise Marshall, who piped the Royal couple through the concourse playing a medley of Christmas hits on the pipes.

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