There were tears of sadness but but also spirits lifted during a special Clap for Our Carers at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Last Thursday’s show of appreciation included morale boosting songs and a Happy Birthday message to 100- year-old former army Captain Tom Moore, now an honorary Colonel, who has raised more than £30m for NHS Charities Together after walking 100 lengths of this garden.
Lesley Allard, a healthcare assistant in the King’s Lynn hospital’s A&E department, was granted permission for her friend’s daughter, Courtney Remmig, to go and sing before the 8pm clap.
There was hardly a dry eye as Miss Remmig, 22, of Sutton Bridge, sang You Raise Me Up, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Hero and Imagine before Happy Birthday and applause for Col. Moore.
Mrs Allard, of Narborough, said the idea was a tribute to the QEH healthcare assistant Chrissie Emerson, who died aged 64 after contracting COVID-19, and also a reminder to all the key workers of how much they were appreciated.
Mrs Allard and Miss Remmig’s mum, Tracey, worked with Mrs Emerson around 20 years ago.
Although she no longer worked with her, Mrs Allard said she still used to see Mrs Emerson in different departments at the hospital.
“I asked Tracey if Courtney would come and sing for us then when Chrissie died I said do you think she would sing something to lift us all?” said Mrs Allard.
“I think we all ended up crying after You Raise Me Up, but I thought the songs were really appropriate for losing Chrissie and everything else.
“I just wanted to lift our spirits a bit because we are struggling no matter what people say, it is very hard.”
She said hospital colleagues had been affected by Mrs Emerson’s death.
“I had got it into my head we wouldn’t lose anyone then we lost Chrissie,” said Mrs Allard adding staff members were also having to cope with losing family members to coronavirus.
She praised Miss Remmig for boosting morale with her singing, adding: “It was brilliant. She did lift our spirits.”
Miss Remming said: “When I was first asked I was a bit “I can’t do that”.
“I was really nervous and it took a lot of mum persuading me when they asked again, but I thought it’s for a really good cause.
“I was overwhelmed afterwards with the response. It felt really emotional with everything that’s going on. It was such a big thing and an honour to be asked to sing.”
Mrs Allard said thank you to everyone for staying at home during the lockdown and helping the NHS and also for the many donations from the community over the last few weeks, from food and scrubs to hand cream and cakes.