Countless medical professionals have made enormous sacrifices to help the people who have come down with the coronavirus. For many nurses and doctors, the current crisis has meant no longer being able to stay with their families for fear of spreading the disease.
Suzanne Vaughan, 43, from Norfolk, England is one of those people. An operating department practitioner at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kings Lynn, she wanted to up her hours from 28 to 50 per week to help with the situation.
Vaughan has two daughters: Bella, 9, and Hettie, 7. Vaughan’s sister Charlotte in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, agreed to watch the girls, so they said their goodbyes on March 28.
“I brought them to my sister’s home because I wanted to keep them safe, because I work at the hospital and was exposing myself to the virus each day,” Vaughan said, according to the U.K. Daily Mail. “But I also wanted to work more, and I couldn’t do more hours and keep the girls.
“It was a really difficult decision, but it was a sacrifice that needed to be made. Leaving them was very emotional because I didn’t know how long it would be until I saw them again — I never expected it to be nine weeks.”
“But so many others have made the same sacrifices because we want to help people and fight this virus.
“It was something I needed to do — I started doing this job over 20 years ago because I wanted to help people.”
“It was difficult the first few weeks, because I’d come home from work and they wouldn’t be there,” she explained. “It was dead quiet, no one running about or screaming or laughing, it was horrible.
“I don’t know what to do without them singing and dancing.”
As the end of nine weeks approached, Vaughan knew she needed to reduce her hours again. She missed her girls.
“I put work first for nine weeks, but I think now it’s time I put my girls first,” she said. “I was tired from work and wanted to see them, but I knew I couldn’t cuddle them so I stuck to it. There were many times I thought to myself, ‘I can’t do this anymore.'”
After getting the go-ahead to reduce her hours, she began counting down the days until she would be able to see her girls again, calling it “the one thing keeping me going.”
Initially, she didn’t let her girls know she was coming because she didn’t want to risk a heartbreaking change of plans.
“We kept it a secret from them because I didn’t want to disappoint them in case something changed, but it was all worthwhile when I saw their reactions,” she said.
Just in case you missed it. Here’s the girls being reunited with Mummy after 9 weeks of being away so she could help save lives. Please feel free to share x pic.twitter.com/KhPGNAqwD8
— Charlotte Savage (@Lottsoflove21) June 2, 2020
“I just didn’t want to let them go and when they cried I just felt it in my heart. It was amazing.”
Video of the reunion, posted by Charlotte, shows Vaughan sneaking up behind her two daughters before she spoke and they turned to see her. The surprise and joy on their faces has been a much-needed bright spot for many viewers.
The girls had access to weekly virtual meetings with a counselor while they were separated from their mom. But Bella seemed to understand why her mom had to be gone so long.
“I think the [National Health Service] are really great people trying to save the world,” Bella said. “Mummy did a brilliant job. She had to be away to save people. She’s my hero.”
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