Funds raised are being used to buy iPads for Covid-19 patients in hospital to help friends and family keep in touch. The first 70 iPads have been purchased to give out to local hospitals.
A Manchester nurse working on the frontline of the deadly Coronavirus crisis has raised more than £30,000 in less than a week to pay for equipment for hospitals across the country that will allow critically ill patients to keep in touch with family and friends during the outbreak.
Leona Harris, a staff nurse on a Covid-19 isolation ward at Fairfield General Hospital in Bury, Greater Manchester, launched the #staytogether campaign with the support of her husband Nick after she witnessed first-hand the devastation caused by the lockdown which restricts families from visiting patients to try and slow the spread of the virus.
The money, which has been partially raised by donations from the public and Nick’s colleagues - with many donating the money that they would have used to commute to and from work - will now be used to purchase computer tablets that will be urgently distributed to hospitals so that those affected by the illness can maintain contact with their loved ones.
Commenting on the campaign Leona said, “When someone is admitted to hospital they are isolated from the moment they arrive on a ward, and that isolation extends to their family who have no further contact, or very limited contact, with their loved ones. It is so upsetting, people have passed away without any family being with them.
“Staff at the hospital are doing their best and some have lent their own mobile phones and tablets to patients to help them keep in touch, but it’s not enough.”
The #staytogether campaign has the support of Leona’s husband Nick who coordinated the fundraising efforts of the law firm where he works and his colleagues to help raise in excess of £27,500 within a matter of days which has been donated directly to the cause; a further £2,600 has been raised by members of the public through a JustGiving page.
Nick, a Lawyer at Simpson Millar which employs more than 200 staff in Manchester added, “There isn’t a single person in Manchester or anywhere else who hasn’t been affected by Coronavirus, personally or professionally.
“When Leona described to me what she was witnessing first-hand it became a mission to raise money for tablets so her patients could keep in touch with their families.
“I’m so proud of what Leona and her nursing colleagues are achieving. It is incredible and they really are heroes.
“I am also proud of the immense efforts my colleagues, who are fantastic people, are putting in to rally and support the #staytogether cause.
“As a law firm that has always been supported by the people of Manchester, it’s really special that we can do something to help the people of Manchester.
“Already we’re looking forward to more equipment being delivered to those who most need it at both local hospitals, and hospitals further afield.”
To support Leona and donate to the #staytogether campaign please click here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/staytogether