Rene King, 89, left Queen’s Hospital this week after recovering from Covid-19 – and had a special task to complete before returning to her care home.
She was the very first Covid-19 patient to place a bee on the hospital’s Tree of Life, where each bee represents a recovered Covid-19 patient.
There is a Tree of Life adorning the wall at both Queen’s and King George hospitals, run by Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust.
Rene’s daughter, Loraine Williams, 62, who didn’t expect her mother to recover due to her poor prognosis when she tested positive for Covid-19, was delighted that she got to stick up her own bee before returning to Nightingale Care Home in Main Road, Gidea Park.
Loraine said: “It was so special that she got to be the first patient to do it. It’s a brilliant idea and it’s lovely to have something so positive. At this time we’re used to hearing about death, so it’s nice to hear something good.
“I couldn’t believe it when she was well enough to go home as we didn’t have much hope. She’s made a complete turnaround, it’s amazing.”
Sarah Dunton, the trust’s director of nursing for patient experience, said: “It was absolutely lovely to see Rene stick her bee on our Tree of Life, the first recovered patient to do so.
“Our Trees of Life are an important way to show that while sadly some people have died after contracting Covid-19, many are recovering and returning home. It’s an important message of hope for our patients and their loved ones, as well as our staff and the wider community.”
Loraine, of Belle Vue Road, Collier Row, hasn’t seen her mother for over three weeks after her care home suspended visiting to keep residents safe.
During Rene’s ten days in Queen’s Hospital, it was the twice daily telephone calls from hospital staff which kept Loraine going, keeping her updated on her mum’s condition.
She added: “It’s been very hard but those phone calls made such a difference. The staff were really good.”
Rene, who has a granddaughter, Lianne, 27, was admitted to the hospital on Monday April 20, after having trouble breathing.