A compilation of poetry and art by Highland health staff in the front line of Covid has gone on sale to help save lives around the world.
Profits will go towards the cost of vaccinating some of the world’s most vulnerable people.
The 52-page book ‘Smile With Your Eyes’ was the brainchild of two doctors at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.
Contributors have shared their innermost thoughts about the pandemic and challenges of the past few years.
The book has quickly raised thousands of pounds – each sale being the equivalent cost of eight individual doses of vaccine.
Money raised will go to VaccinAid, a branch of Unicef.
The belief is the virus will not be conquered until there is equal access to vaccination.
Dr Grant Franklin, an acute medicine consultant at Raigmore, said: “Its inception was when we were sitting, having had our third vaccine and thinking that it’s really a bit unfair that we were sitting here with three vaccines when a lot of the world have had none.
“So, we were looking at a way of both raising a little bit of money for vaccines overseas and also a project that might help staff deal with what we’ve had to go through in the pandemic.
“For many staff, the book has proved cathartic. Infectious diseases specialty doctor Becky Acquah said: “This was a nice project to get involved in outside of work. It was very therapeutic.
“It was really nice to see how the staff came together to produce it – and, also, the stories from staff of how it’s helped them to put some words on paper or to be a bit creative around what we’ve all experienced.”Why the title of ‘Smile with your Eyes’?
Dr Acquah said: “Not being able to hold someone’s hand without gloves on, or for them to be able to see your face, it became very obvious that we really wanted people to see us, our facial expressions, and to know that we are smiling with them.
“A sequel to the book seems likely to allow others a chance to share their experiences of the emergency.