14th Aug, 2020

Writer pens emotional tribute to life-saving NHS

Rob George 15th Apr, 2020

LIFE-SAVING staff at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital and the NHS who are battling against the Coronavirus have been praised by a city writer a decade on from his own fight against death.

Mike Stafford has penned an emotional tribute to the men and women of the National Health Service who are fighting around the clock against the COVID-19 virus which has claimed nearly 100 lives in the county.

The city author put pen to paper after seeing the continued support for the NHS every Thursday evening when city residents join those across the country to Clap for our NHS and revealed his debt of gratitude to the service.

His own battle with Addison’s saw his life saved at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital in 2010 by quick-thinking medics before the births of his two children in 2011 and in 2013, the first by emergency caesarean section.

“Never before has a million and a half people felt so few, and of all the things so many of us owe to you all, the only thing we can offer while locked down is words. Words to express our gratitude, and words hopefully to inspire you through shifts so endless that exhaustion forges them into one,” he wrote.

“We know you don’t do it for hero status; you never did. It’s love which powers you through. It’s love, compassion, caring; that’s what guides you into work each day, like Florence’s lamp inside you. Fate, it seems though, had other ideas, and you find yourselves the nation’s heroes, complete with battle fatigue, fallen comrades, and the fear of the enemy’s weapon. Still, in the heat and chaos of battle, it’s your love that we’re grateful for.

“It’s a love that, over the years, has been abused. Rowdy drinkers have relied on that love when they wound each other at weekends. Craven politicians have deducted that love from your salaries in order to improve the bottom line.

Now though, a whole nation can see your love for what it is; a phenomenal power that keeps the country’s heart beating,” he added.

Mr Stafford told the Observer he wanted to pay tribute to all those on the frontline from nurses to cleaners and from administrators, porters and consultants.

“You are heroes, now and for all time. That knowledge will stay with us across the generations; babies you’ve not yet delivered will know of your heroism, through neonatal and across the decades up to geriatrics,” he said.

“When you steel yourself for another shift, fearing the touch of surfaces or the coughs of the patients, know that you do it with the love and gratitude of a nation behind you, always.

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