Leona's Story

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As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to affect the nation, we’re all realising the importance of family and friends more than ever.

Sadly, once a Covid-19 patient is admitted to hospital, they’re not allowed to have any visitors. This often means that some patients pass away without being able to say goodbye to their loved ones. The only way Covid-19 patients can keep in touch with their friends and family is through a phone or tablet.

Staff in hospitals are doing their best to lend phones, tablets or iPads to patients to help them keep in touch, but it’s not enough.

Touched by the distressing stories of Covid-19 patients who have been unable to see friends and family once they’re admitted to hospital, Nick Harris, Head of Travel at Simpson Millar, and his wife, Leona, a nurse on a Covid-19 ward at a Manchester Hospital started a fundraising effort to buy iPads for patients to stay in contact with their loved ones.  

Leona has seen first-hand the impact that isolation is having on the patients and their families, and said,

“Anyone admitted to hospital is immediately isolated and that isolation extends to their family who have no further contact, or very limited contact, with their loved ones to prevent further spread of the virus. Too often, people are dying without any family with them.”

Because of this, Leona is leading a fundraising initiative to buy more iPads to help patients and families stay connected during this difficult time.

With the support of local donations, Nick and Leona have already been able to purchase three iPads which will be distributed across three wards in the next few days. But Leona’s aiming to extend this further than Manchester. She wants to purchase as many iPads or tablets as possible for hospitals across the country. She said,

“We go into nursing to get people better and that’s not always the case at the moment.  Families are frantic with worry when they can’t see their relatives – it’s soul destroying. With an iPad, they can at least see each other. It’s so important to help our patients and their families have that time together.”

After hearing about the fundraising, the rest of us at Simpson Millar decided to get involved - we’re launching similar efforts at other hospitals, care homes and hospices across the country. Nick said, “It’s great to see the people that I work with supporting the cause, and the more patients and families that we can help can only be a good thing.”

So what can you do to help?

  • Donate - To support Leona and Nick with the #staytogether campaign please donate here.

  • Spread the word – Please share #staytogether with friends, family and colleagues so we can raise as much awareness as possible and spread this initiative across the country.

Help us to keep loved ones connected through this challenging time.