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Covid nurse pens poignant poem

Monday, May 11, 2020

A Glasgow nurse has put pen to paper to capture the moment she helped a Covid-19 patient speak to their loved ones from their deathbed.

Sarah Pirie (30) from the south side of Glasgow has been a nurse for three years and is working on the frontline, treating Covid-19 patients at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

Sarah said: “It’s the first time I have been so intimately part of a patient’s last words. It was beautiful and heart-warming but also overwhelming. I wrote the poem at the end of this difficult shift during which there had been many tears.

“In our teams we’re getting great support from each other in this very difficult time, but as well as being nurses, we are human beings and we have good days and bad. The poem was just my way of dealing with one of those difficult days.”

Sarah shared her poem with her mum and sister who then urged her to share it more widely.

Sarah then shared in to her Facebook and has been overwhelmed with the result.

She said: “I have been contacted by people as far away as the States and Singapore. I think it’s just struck a chord with people and maybe helped too.

“I hope families take comfort knowing that even if they can’t be there, we are trying to do everything possible to help them stay connected to their families.”

The poem comes at a poignant time, as Tuesday is the International Day of the Nurse, which marks the important role that nurses are playing to support patients at this particularly challenging time.

 

Tonight I held you,

As I fought back the tears.

And grieved for your family,

That have loved you for years.

 

You became unwell,

There was nothing to do,

We watched through the window,

And increased your O2.

 

I called your family,

To see if anyone could attend.

Your family needed to know,

That this was the end.

 

But this virus is terrifying,

And people are shielding,

How can they be there,

When Covid is so unyielding.

 

I held your hand,

I wiped your face,

My gloved hand on skin,

As your breathing slows pace.

 

You’d still smile behind your mask,

And I'd try smile back.

To comfort and reassure you,

Is now my one and only task.

 

Your family called,

To say their goodbyes,

We stood with the phone,

And listened to their cries.

 

With tears rolling down our faces,

Into the masks we all wear.

We really wanted to help them,

And show them we care.

 

We woke you up,

So you could hear their voice.

We described your actions.

We had no other choice.

 

Their words filled with sorrow,

Their hearts played bare.

They wanted the time,

To show you, they care.

 

You looked peaceful,

And smiled at their call,

I hope it brought you comfort,

Standing there took my all.

 

We deal with death,

But not like this,

No family allowed,

To give you one last kiss.

 

But the next family will need us,

We will need to do the same.

But I hope I gave you good care.

And I will always remember your name.

ENDS

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