Care home worker Katy Edwards is back living with her husband and six children – after moving out of the family home for eight weeks to shield her loved-ones from coronavirus.
The 33-year-old took the heart-wrenching decision to self-isolate in a spare room at her mum’s Hanley home as Covid-19 ripped through North Staffordshire.
And the daycare assistant works at Bradwell Hall Nursing Home which reported eight coronavirus-related deaths over a just three-week period at the height of the outbreak.
Now Katy has moved back to her Blurton home as Covid-19 cases continue to fall.
It means Katy can once again hug husband Simon and her six children Morgan, aged 13; Jesika, aged 11; Amelia, aged eight; Darcy, aged five; Paisley, aged four; and 16-month-old Ivy-Mae.
She said: “I left my own home and my family behind so I could continue giving 100 per cent care to my residents.
“I don’t regret the decision I made because I love my job. Of course I love my family but I would like to come through this and know that I have kept my family safe by doing this.
“It was a commitment I made so I can be the carer that I am. It’s the best decision I have made.”
The 189-bed Bradwell Hall also reported a further 18 coronavirus cases in addition to the eight deaths.
Katy added: “We have got a fantastic team. The death rate was high but what is difficult for people to appreciate is that it is a nursing home and because of how big it is there are a lot of people in there who are at the latter end of their lives.
“The owners and directors have been fantastic. I have never attended to anybody without wearing personal protective equipment. I have never had to worry about where my next face mask is coming from.
“We did ask for community support and we are so grateful for the community helping us but we never went without. Our directors always made sure it was safe for ourselves and the residents.
“The home has received a lot of criticism. They have done everything they can to do this and I am so proud to say where I work, where I come from and the amazing team that is there.”
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Katy has had to communicate with her partner and children through Facetime.
She said: “It’s been physically and mentally difficult, life was through the phone.
“My daughters dance three times a week and are normally competing and they are not even doing that anymore and neither were they seeing their mother. Nothing is normal to them anymore.
“Simon has been my hero for keeping my family together, happy and safe. He has been supportive throughout all of this pandemic.
“Our main focus is that in the end of it we will all be safe and will come together again.
“Covid-19 is going to be here for a long time and because restrictions are eased, we are by no means over this pandemic. We are moving forward in a gradual process of what is going to be a new normal.”
The children are thrilled that their mum is back.
Morgan Bryan said: “It’s really exciting to have her back. It’s a change because my mum is a lot stricter.”
Jesika Edwards said: “It’s amazing to have her back.”