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Covid-19, one year on: Tina Beresford

Tina Beresford

To mark the one year anniversary of the pandemic, members of Team UHDB are sharing their thoughts and reflections of their personal and work lives during Covid-19.

The pandemic will have had a very different impact on each and every one of us, so the one year anniversary since we started to see the first inpatients admitted is a good opportunity to reflect on the year gone and to look forward.

Today's final Covid-19 reflection comes from Tina Beresford, a Theatre Support Worker redeployed to ICU, who has written a powerful poem, titled 'Never Forgotten', about caring for a Covid-19 patient in their last hours of life. 

Nervous and upset, I am getting ready all in blue.
I'm becoming anxious, for who will be due? .....

Who will be due to have their very last meal.....
How has this all become so real? 

They are sweating, suffocating, with eyes full of fear. 
The only hand they hold and I'm telling them "Stay strong my dear". 

Strong they were and so very kind.  
Hugging covered in plastic, feeling so confined.

Each breath you fight, each word you speak. 
I will not leave you all alone while you are weak.

I'll fight with you every step of the way. 
I sit and speak about my day. 

You laugh, you smile but you tell me you're scared.... 
I feel so helpless; you ask why you can't be repaired.

Covid-19 has become the worst of the worst. Watching you struggle to breathe with your lips all pursed.  

The damage is final, irrevisible and done, 
I feel this virus called Covid-19 has won. 

You smile and thank us for everything we do, my heart breaks as we can't save you. 

Impending, inevitable, unable to stop. 
This isn't fair, "why you?", I think, as you ask for your last sip of pop. 

One last time, I tuck you in sheets made of cotton. 
Beautiful, brave patients, you will never be forgotten. 

Your body then begins to slow, 
I talk to you, I tell you to go... 

Fly free, rest easy, sleep long and deep. 
I tried my best but I weep and weep.

The end is here and I begin to struggle for air. 
I have to get you ready, so we all say a prayer.

The box arrives to take you away. 
It feels so cold, I never imagined this day. 

I get to my car, feeling guilty and lost. I think of the joy I tried to bring you, but at what cost.....

Fly free, rest easy, sleep long and deep. 
I'll try my best not to weep and weep. 

For now I have to help another, there's a dad, a daughter and someone's mother..... 

You're never alone, we will all continue to try our best. 

For we are the NHS....