Trainee Nursing Associate’s ‘heart-felt’ gesture for relatives bereaved by COVID-19

News posted 27 May, 2020

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  • Trainee Nursing Associate’s ‘heart-felt’ gesture for relatives bereaved by COVID-19

A Trainee Nursing Associate (TNA) at Wythenshawe Hospital who has been working with patients affected by COVID-19 has created a touching memento for relatives bereaved by the virus.

Ashton Harris said she has been so moved while working on a coronavirus ward that she wanted to make a difference.

So, the 28-year-old bought 100 heart-shaped keyrings, small bags and tealight candles.

Her idea was that if a patient sadly dies due to the virus, if the family wish, the patient’s thumb print can be put onto the keyring in ink and placed inside a bag, along with a candle for the family to light in memory of their loved one.

Ashton, who has been a TNA since September, has been on work placement at Wythenshawe Hospital, which is part of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, for three days a week. She studies at the University of Bolton on a Monday.

She said: “The ward I was working on was caring for patients affected by COVID-19 and some of our patients sadly passed away.

“Relatives last seeing their loved ones when they left home and, in some cases, never again and that really got to me and got me thinking about what I might be able to do help.

“I ordered keyrings and got the candles and bags and mentioned it to my manager who thought it was a lovely idea.”

Ashton, who lives in Wythenshawe, added: “I really feel like it is a small way to help. If it was a member of my family it would be nice to know that there was something of them to take with me.”

Jane Grimshaw, Director of Nursing at Wythenshawe Hospital said “We’ve been very moved by Ashton’s thoughtful gesture for the families of our patients. We hope her idea goes some small way toward helping the families in their time of mourning.”

Dr Trish Houghton, the University of Bolton’s Head of School of Nursing and Midwifery, said: “This is a tremendous gesture by one of the University of Bolton’s caring nursing associate students.

“Ashton has shown great care and compassion during such a difficult time and I am sure her act of kindness is greatly appreciated by the relatives.

“She was very modest and did not want a fuss, but her manager was keen to let us know. We are all very proud of her.”