There were emotional scenes when 17 year old Lily Kitcher was re-united with her mum Trudi, after spending 16 days in Eastbourne DGH – 8 days in Critical Care and 8 days in Jevington ward – being treated for Covid-19.
Staff clapped Lily as she made her way from the Critical Care Unit to Jevington Ward and then again when she left Jevington Ward to go home to be reunited with her mum.
Lily Kitcher said: “All of the nurses and doctors were so lovely and so incredible. They made me feel very safe in such a scary environment. I’m so grateful to them all, doing everything they could to make me as comfortable as possible, and explain as much as they could have despite a constant confusion in my mind. I really do not doubt that without their incredible care and the amazing kindness of the staff who looked after me things might have be worse. They kept my mum updated when I couldn’t and reassured her they were taking great care of me.
“I don’t believe that people realise the impact of Covid-19, especially young people. Nobody is immune, and it can affect anyone. I don’t understand why, unless you need to, why you wouldn’t stay at home or follow the rules to give yourself and your loved ones a fighting chance to steer clear of this virus. Gatherings can wait. Better to not meet knowing everyone is safe and healthy, than to meet and put everyone at risk. It’s not worth risking it. I’m so grateful for the care I have received. The NHS is an amazing thing. I hope no one takes it for granted.”
Lily’s mum, Trudi Kitcher said: “We are so pleased to have Lily home after a traumatic two and half weeks. As a parent I can’t express how heart wrenching it is not to see your child when they are desperately ill in hospital with Covid-19. The critical care unit were great they gave us their direct number and we were reassured we could ring anytime day or night. They recognised how difficult it was for me to not be with Lily, but we were still able to text her messages of love and support as they allowed her to have her phone. As her dad is deaf, this was so important to him and we were grateful for this.
“Once she was unable to communicate due to being ventilated, the nurses would put the phone to her ear when I called, so we could talk and tell her how much we loved and missed her. And knowing that someone was by Lily’s side, often holding her hand meant so much!
“The care she received from everyone was evident, as when I rang for updates on her progress, each member of the team was able to help. Consultants and doctors took the time to call us to explain what was happening with Lily’s treatment and to ‘check in’ with her family too! Lily reinforced this by telling us how lovely they were towards her, with her only regret not being able to see “all the hunky doctors behind their masks!
“We also received a knitted heart in the post and learned Lily had been given a matching one. A symbol of connection and affection at a time when we were apart was a really lovely gesture. We are so very very grateful for their care, especially when faced with so many extra challenges due to the virus. Thank you so much.”