NHS nurse’s 300-mile dash to be with dad in ICU as he died of coronavirus
A nursing assistant has told how she returned to the Covid ICU front line after making a 300-mile dash to be with her dad as he died of the virus.
Bridget Donaldson, 25, joined the NHS last spring after being made redundant from her job in an airline cabin crew.
She works in intensive care at Croydon Hospital, South London, and combines it with studying for an engineering degree at Oxford University.
She went to be with her father Neville, 82, as he died in November at Wansbeck Hospital, Northumberland – and she says returning to work helped her come to terms with his death.
Bridget said: “He was in his 80s but very fit for his age, he was very independent, still driving and it never occurred he would get Covid and die. I never thought of my dad as elderly.
“Like a lot of people in the pandemic, he was just unlucky, in the wrong place.
“He died a few hours after we arrived and I am so grateful I was able to be with him and my mum when so many others haven’t been able to hold a loved one’s hand as they died.”
Bridget was apprehensive about returning to work but it “gave me a bit of closure and purpose to keep going.”
She added: “I never thought I’d go into nursing. It has really changed my outlook.
“I’m constantly inspired by my colleagues.”
Bridget also told how she and a team tried to save a woman with cardiac massage for over an hour before giving up.
She said: “She’d only just come from A&E and been put on a ventilator. Then she went into cardiac arrest. People were so shocked.”
And she warned young adults to wake up to the danger of Covid, even with jabs under way.
She said: “Everyone thinks this only kills the elderly and sick. I saw plenty of young seriously ill with Covid and some died. No one can feel really safe until all adults are vaccinated.”
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