By Toby Porter
A family has given more than £10,000 in thank you gifts to hospital staff after they saved the lives of two of them at Christmas.
Georgie Theobald, from Denmark Hill, Camberwell, has put a smile on thousands of faces at King’s College Hospital because staff helped save the life of her grandmother and her son.
Georgie spent Christmas 2020 at the hospital when her teenage son Freddie, 13, and grandmother, Vicki, 66, both became seriously ill with Covid-19 – and he was only discovered when paramedics came for the pensioner.
She spent Christmas Day praying they would both survive.
So now, using her own savings, she has bought refreshments and treats for medics and staff who helped her get through.
She said: “I was really worried about my Nan, as she has diabetes and was just getting worse and worse. I called an ambulance, and when the paramedics were checking her over, they noticed Freddie also seemed poorly.
“He has problems with his immune system, as well as asthma, and as we discovered later in hospital, he had Covid-19 too.
“Within a few hours, they were both on ventilators in different intensive care units. It was one of the worst days of my life. I spent Christmas Day with my son, praying he and my Nan would be OK.
“The staff were absolutely amazing. It was such a busy time and everyone was working really long shifts with barely any time for a break.
“In spite of it all, one nurse popped in to see me on Christmas Day with a card and a little present. Their kindness and thoughtfulness, in the middle of a global pandemic, is something I will never forget.
“Amazingly, Nan and Freddie both recovered and are back at home. After saving their lives, as well as looking after me, I knew I had to do something to say thank you.
“Most of the money was my own – I was 30 in December and used all the money I was gifted and any savings I had, then a few family and friends helped.
“I have no savings left now, nothing. I did not buy myself anything for my birthday or Christmas – but it was worth every single penny.
“And I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I’m from Denmark Hill so close to Kings – who have my whole heart.”
Together with her family and friends, Georgie donated over £10,000 worth of gifts and refreshments, including bottles of water, snacks, muesli bars and bubble bath, to staff at King’s including cleaners, security staff and healthcare assistants.
Georgie added: “I get so much pleasure from putting a smile on the faces of people who really, truly deserve it.
“I can never thank them enough for the care and support they’ve given my family, but I can give them a treat to make their time off a little bit more enjoyable.
“I’m not doing anything special – I just want to give something back.”
Jane Wilson, Paediatric Emergency Department Matron at King’s College Hospital, added: “Georgie’s generosity, and that of her friends and family, will make a huge difference to the department.
“There’s no doubt that this has been one of the most challenging years we’ve ever faced, but knowing the difference we’ve made to people’s lives gives everyone a lift.
“The donations have been enjoyed by everyone who works together to improve patient care including our porters, housekeepers, receptionists, nurses, healthcare associates, and doctors.”
Dr Simon Broughton, Paediatric Consultant and Clinical Director, added: “The level of Georgie’s generosity and thoughtfulness has blown us away.
“She has demonstrated the same care that she delivers to her family every day.
“The way Georgie cares for Freddie never fails to amaze me. Thank you so much Georgie for all that you have done for us, we are so grateful.”
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