Granard nurse Franchesca Kelly
The work and life of Granard nurse Franchesca Kelly has changed dramatically in recent months as she and her colleagues at Midlands Regional Hospital Mullingar work long shifts to care for patients with Covid-19.
Franchesca, who has been a qualified nurse for a year and a half, was herself diagnosed with the virus last week and is currently isolating as she recovers.
“Once I started to feel symptoms, I got tested immediately,” she told the Longford Leader.
“The test required a nasal and throat swab. After my swab I had to isolate until my result came back. When I was then confirmed positive I had to isolate by myself for two weeks.”
Franchesca is young, fit and healthy and therefore lucky to be on the milder end of the scale when it comes to the virus and its symptoms.
“The symptoms I experienced were nothing like the symptoms my patients experienced the last few weeks,” she explained.
“I have been taking all my vitamins every morning for the last five years now; some studies have been done to state Vitamin D could help build up some resistance to Covid-19. Maybe this has helped me fight my way out of the virus but who knows?”
Franchesca is truly passionate about fitness and trains in the gym five times a week, so her body was primed to fight off the virus and she hopes to be back on the frontline as soon as possible to continue looking after patients.
“Over the past couple of weeks I have looked after very sick people due to the virus,” she explained.
“It was a scary time for us all, but myself and my team in Respiratory A&E got through each shift together. We have supported each other every day; it’s the only way we would get through the day.
“As I say, if we didn’t laugh we would cry. Every morning I would think to myself I wonder what today is going to be like in work. There would never be a day where it would be the same; every day is different.
“Everyone at the frontline is amazing. My colleagues have being working so hard the past couple of weeks. Even management at MRH, they all deserve a medal.”
And, having seen what happens on the frontline first hand, the message is clear: Stay Home. Stay Safe.
“Staying at home is so important at this time, no matter how young, healthy or fit you are, you will contract the virus,” said Franchesca.
“We are in this together, once everyone listens to the government’s restrictions we will see an improvement in our country. It’s in our hands.”