Matron gifts St George’s staff a personal Banksy as thanks for their game-changing work during pandemic

Nurses may not be able to fly, crush cars or lift houses – but they have their own superpowers.

Covid-19 cases are rising again, along with the pressure on medics.

But they are having to be brave and cope with stresses we can hardly imagine.

So one matron has decided to surprise staff, from medics to cleaners, with a gift – a personal print of a picture by Banksy celebrating their work – called “Game Changer”.

It shows a child dumping his Batman and Superman figures and making their nurse doll fly like a superhero.

Tammy Stracey, matron of the chest intensive care ward, the Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit (CTICU) at St George’s Hospital, Tooting, asked for help in framing them cheaply – and was left overwhelmed by the response. The frame makers had a surprise for her, too.

Sister Kim Tatham and Sister Myrna Scott with one of the prints

She believes it is important to pay tribute to those staff who don’t always receive the recognition they should, such as cleaners, housekeeping and administration staff.

She said: “The outpouring of support to all healthcare professionals has been amazing.

“We had food delivered daily to the ICU, which allowed staff to go home and rest after a shift rather than having to prepare for the next day.

“People have been so generous, and we are all so touched by the many different letters, pictures, food, treats and gifts that have been sent our way.

“The fact the print shows how nurses are superheroes really hit home.

“Everybody working in the CTICU was phenomenal during the Covid-19 pandemic and worked incredibly hard under extreme circumstances.

“We think ‘Game Changer’ was a great choice, too. The print captures the nation’s hope that our youth will aspire to be NHS heroes themselves one day.

“The whole team were remarkable and it was important to me that they knew how much we appreciated their hard work and determination.

“Nobody would ever have believed we would be put in a situation like this and the way staff persevered, stuck together and helped each other showed just how strong and resilient they are as a team.

“They treated every single patient with the compassion, respect and dignity that they deserved.

“This whole experience has definitely made me think about what is important in life and has reminded me to be grateful.

“It has been a privilege to work alongside such incredible people.”

Casa Chic Boutique, a small family Hammersmith-based business, stepped in to help frame the pictures – and its staff decided to surprise Tracy herself by donating the 180 frames as a gift.

Tracy said: “I was blown away. What a generous and kind thing to do. I know how difficult this time has been for everyone, especially those with their own businesses, and I cannot thank Casa Chic enough for showing us how amazing people can be.”

Pictured top: Tammy Stracey


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