A nurse has been affected by the coronavirus and forced to isolate herself a week after returning from the private sector to the frontline of the NHS to fight the deadly pandemic.
Victoria Hume, 42, was diagnosed with Covid-19 on Saturday morning after having a pap smear the day before.
She had only returned to the emergency department at Maidstone Hospital in Kent the previous Saturday and had assessed potential patients at the door.
The mother of two left the health service 18 months ago to focus on her private clinic Maidstone Aesthetics, which she founded over 10 years ago.
But when the coronavirus pandemic spread across the UK, Victoria answered the call to arms and couldn’t wait to get started, believing it was something she was born for.
The mother of two left the health service 18 months ago to focus on her private Maidstone Aesthetics clinic she set up over 10 years ago (photo)
Unfortunately, she will now have to isolate herself for 14 days, but she is already eager to return to help her frontline colleagues.
Mrs. Hume said, “I feel good. I have very mild symptoms. The test came out positive and I was like ‘oh, fine, there it is’ but I’m actually pretty good. I just had a little headache and a slight cough.
“The only reason I got tested was because I felt I started getting something during the week and I knew I had been in contact with positive patients and some of the staff so I thought it was a responsible thing to do .
“Me and my family are now locked up and I should be able to return to work after Bank Holiday Monday. I can’t physically go out for this 14 day period and neither can my family but we will survive.
Victoria Hume evaluated patients at Maidstone Hospital in Kent last week
“It’s a bit frustrating because in the end I just wanted to go back and help and the irony is that I can’t do it now. I am really desperate to go back and help again.
“There is a little bit of fear when you get into a situation when dealing with Covid-19 patients, but now I can safely go in there about my own health and knowing that I have built up the antibodies. I will feel more comfortable if I am now enrolled in ICU. ‘
Victoria, whose husband works for Met Police, is classed alongside her partner as a key figure, allowing daughters Lottie, 7, and Hattie, 4, to stay in school.
The A&E and intensive care specialist from Aylesford, Kent has worked as a nurse in London, Kent and Australia since qualifying in 2000 after three years of training.
Returning to the hospital she left a little over a year ago, Victoria believes staff remains positive despite the number of confirmed coronavirus cases increasing.
As criticism of a lack of protective equipment and testing for NHS staff increases, the 42-year-old never actually ran out of PPE and said a cotton swab box was available to staff who showed symptoms that could make her diagnosed within a matter of hours.
The mother of two added: ‘Catching Covid-19 was certainly not because of the lack of personal protective equipment, because the moment I got to work, I was tested fit and had the right equipment at work every day .
“But it’s a completely different hospital now. The departments change into ICUs. I thought it was strange to walk through the corridors and there were no visitors.
The nurse now has to isolate herself for 14 days, but would like to return to the frontline to help her colleagues
“There has certainly been an increase in the number of confirmed cases coming in significantly worse.
“Everyone is laughing through it, but there is a kind of tension in the air and you wonder when the tsunami of patients, as the government put it, will come.
“The employees are in a good mood and the morale is very good. Everyone works overtime and extra services because they want to help. People just get stuck in a setback.
“But I think, but there is a sense of ‘when is this going to happen’. There are fears and I think people are quite scared.
“Some parents worry because they stay in hotels and don’t see their children to protect them, which evokes a lot of emotions.”
Despite coming into contact with confirmed cases, Victoria believes she may have been just as exposed as doing grocery shopping or that her main workman brought trains and pipes to London on a daily basis.
Picky about washing and disinfecting, she constantly tells her daughters to follow suit, but there’s no way of knowing how she got the virus.
Doing everything she could with protective gear and good hygiene, but still testing positive, makes the 42-year-old fear of those showing off the strict lockdown rules.
Victoria warned, “People should be aware that it is so easily transferable and should be taken seriously.
“Ultimately, people die and not only the elderly need to be endangered. I think it is scary now that younger and healthier people are affected.
“It is still believed that it is the vulnerable and older people who die, but it is not. Every person on this planet risks catching and spreading them, so everyone has a responsibility to do their bit.
“If people think they are not, they should just take it seriously because it can affect their husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, children and parents.
“Nobody wants to be able to be with someone if they are ill in the hospital when they are sick or die. Why risk spreading it unnecessarily?
“It’s so easily transferable that people just have to stay at home and wash their hands. Even if the sun is shining, don’t go out because it’s not necessary. ‘
Victoria is one of thousands of nurses and medical staff asking the government to return to the NHS to bolster the numbers in the crisis.