‘They’re much more than angels’ - Covid survivor carries out her promise to Pinderfields Hospital
A Wakefield Covid survivor has delivered more than 100 Easter eggs to the team of nurses she says saved her life.
Lisa Varley was admitted to Pinderfields Hospital with the virus in April last year, several weeks after first displaying symptoms.
She spent more than a month receiving around-the-clock care for the virus, as well as resulting conditions including pneumonia, blood clots and respiratory failure, before she was finally discharged in late May.
Almost a year on, Lisa, 40, has returned to the hospital to be reunited with the nurses who helped care for her - and show her thanks with a gift of more than 100 Easter eggs.
She said: “My partner’s a care worker and she got Covid. “We took all the precautions: sleeping in separate bedrooms; she was showering as soon as she got home and wiping down surfaces she touched.
“Despite all the precautions, she got Covid and I got it too. “We managed to contain hers but I got really, really bad. I was in hospital a couple of times, and eventually I got put on a ward.
“It was an awful time. I was on all the breathing equipment and so weak I couldn’t even hold a phone.
“When I could speak I would ask if I was going to survive. “They could never answer.
“Six people passed away at the side of me. You’re not prepared for something like that, and I can’t believe nurses went through two waves of that.”
Lisa has praised her nurses for their incredible care, and said they would often take the time to come and talk to her, sharing stories about their own lives even when she was too unwell to respond.
But as she started to show signs of recovery, she developed a running joke that, once recovered, she would return with Easter eggs for the doctors and nurses who had supported her through her illness.
She said: “Before I went into hospital we had Easter eggs at home, and I’d say ‘if I survive this I’m going to bring you Easter eggs’.
“They said it would be Christmas and selection boxes by that time, but I really wanted to fulfil that promise.
“They deserve it and so much more. They said I didn’t have to thank them, but I want to and I need to. They saved my life.”
Almost a year on from her discharge, Lisa continues to suffer from a number of long Covid symptoms, and has regular meetings with NHS professionals, including physiotherapists, pulmonary rehabilitation specialists and occupational therapists.
But she has nothing but praise for all those who have helped her.
Her partner Jodie Miller said: “They weren’t just comforting her, they were comforting me, ringing me to see how I was doing.
“People say they’re angels, but they’re so much more. They were there for us all.”
Last week Lisa returned to Pinderfields to deliver her gift, and she had an emotional reunion with Cara Brook, Tia Howse and Nicola Smith, three of the nurses who supported her through her illness.
She said: “It’s not enough, it will never be enough, but I want the nurses to get the recognition.
“They’re the ones that hold hands and hold iPads for family calls. These nurses deserve so much praise. I want them to get the recognition they deserve.
“The Easter eggs were a running joke, but to me it’s so meaningful.
“I can only remember bits. “But I watched what they go through during shifts .”