Bereaved son praises Leeds medics who went 'above and beyond' in mother's final days

The son of an NHS office worker who died after testing positive for coronavirus has praised staff at St James's Hospital who went "above any beyond" to look after her.

Monday, 20th April 2020, 6:23 pm

Liz Shale, a grandmother-of-eight, died on April 9, having spent just over a week in hospital without her relatives by her bedside due to coronavirus restrictions.

The 61-year-old worked as an administration manager in palliative care at Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust.

She became ill and collapsed at home before being rushed to St James's Hospital and put on a ventilator, her son Jason said.

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Liz Shale, a grandmother-of-eight, died on April 9 (Photo: PA Wire)

Staff did their utmost to ensure the family was kept informed of her condition, he said, and he paid tribute to the "creative" ways in which nurses at St James's tried to ease the added pain brought on by the enforced distance.

He said: "Normally, if someone was on a ventilator or in intensive care you would stay with them, you would see them, but we kind of lost all that the day she went into hospital.

"To anyone that ends up in our predicament, they have to trust that the nurses are doing the best they can. They genuinely went above and beyond in giving us all the information and I think they're trying their best."

He said that despite concerns around PPE shortages, healthcare staff "still turn up to work and they still go out of their way to do the best they can".

Mr Shale, who works as a mental health nurse in private healthcare, added that amid fears that medics might have for themselves, they are still dedicated to providing the best care they can.

The nurses caring for his mother had offered to let the family see into her room by videolink, and asked if there were any words they would like to be said before she died.

"They're still polite, they're still engaging," said Mr Shale. "They still try their best and they are going above and beyond and I think it's the little things like offering Facetime from their own mobile phone. They're coming up with creative ways.

"If you wanted a doctor they got a doctor, if you wanted a consultant they got a consultant to phone you. So they really did try their best to make sure they covered absolutely everything."

Mr Shale paid tribute to his mother who he described as "bubbly" and someone who cared about others.

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