Frontline nurse reunited with children after ten weeks apart

The former nurse returned to her job to join the coronavirus fight while her son had to be shielded due to a heart condition.

A mum has been reunited with her sons after ten weeks apart due to coronavirus.

Elaine Brown’s five-year-old boy Euan has a heart condition, so while she was working as a nurse, the rest of the family – including three-year-old son Keir – stayed with her partner Ross Fitzpatrick’s parents on Arran.

“It was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make,” she told STV News.

Elaine, who is training as a health visitor, was asked to return to her former job as a high-dependency nurse to help the fight against Covid-19.

Initially she thought she’d have to keep away for five weeks, but ended up being apart from her family for twice as long.

She enjoyed an emotional reunion with them after travelling to Arran earlier this month.

“With the nature of the job, and knowing that I would be facing patients with Covid, I couldn’t risk that with Euan being a shielding patient himself.

“It seemed like the best thing to do but it was also the hardest decision that I’ve ever had to make.

“We were very fortunate that Ross’s mum and dad could give us the support and could come here to stay out of harm’s way.”

While Elaine, 40, worked shifts at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, for grandparents John and Jean, it was a rollercoaster adventure as they helped son Ross look after the boys

Jean said: “The first few nights, as you can imagine, were ‘Where’s mummy, where’s mummy?’.

“Keir doesn’t sleep very well at the best of times so he was waking up crying and screaming. It’s been pretty emotional for us all. It’s been pretty hard going.”

Elaine, from Bishopbriggs, had to isolate for 14 days after finishing up at the hospital before she was given special dispensation to travel to Arran.

She said: “Once I went into the two-week self-isolation, that was probably the hardest point, because when you’re busy at work, you feel you’re making a difference but when you’re at home, that’s the hard bit.

“I was just really desperate to get back to my boys and to Ross again.”

Life is getting back to normal for the family with Elaine returning to her training, and while it’s been an emotional time for them all, she believes they’ll look back with pride.

“We said to the boys that this has been their holiday with Nan and Papa, so they’ve had a good time,” she said.

“And definitely, talking to friends and colleagues as well, in ten years’ time to look back and be able to say that we did our bit, we all worked really hard together and we did try to make a difference, I think all of us are going to be proud about that.

“We can say that we were frontline and we did our best for all the patients we looked after.”

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