A heartwarming moment was captured when a “hero” nurse working on the frontline was reunited with her two daughters, after being apart for nine weeks.
Single mother Suzanne Vaughan, 43, has been working double shifts for England’s NHS at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Norfolk—it was her own decision, but a tough one that forced her to be apart from her children for nine weeks.
But after more than two months working round the clock in the ICU, she finally had the chance to hug her daughters and “put my girls first.”
In the emotionally-charged scene Sunday, she quietly creeped up behind the sofa, surprising Bella and Hettie, 9 and 7, who had been staying with their Aunt Charlotte in Peterborough.
“I brought them to my sister’s home because I wanted to keep them safe, because I work at the hospital and was exposing myself to the virus each day,” said Suzanne. “But I also wanted to work more, and I couldn’t do more hours and keep the girls.
“It was a really difficult decision but it was a sacrifice that needed to be made.
She didn’t know how long it would be until she saw them again, and never expected it to be nine weeks.
“But so many others have made the same sacrifices because we want to help people and fight this virus. It was something I needed to do – I started doing this job over 20 years ago because I wanted to help people.”
“I put work first for nine weeks, but I think now it was time I put my girls first.”
Suzie, who normally works 28 hours a week, offered to work over 50 hours a week in order to help with the national effort against the virus. The single mum says she Facetimed her daughters each day and they never let her wake up for a shift without a good morning text.
“There were many times I thought to myself I can’t do this anymore,” she added. “It was dead-quiet, no one running about or screaming or laughing, it was horrible.
For her part, Bella has nothing but respect for her mother. “I think the NHS are really great people trying to save the world. She had to be away to save people—she’s my hero.”
Suzanne says she didn’t want to disappoint them if anything changed, so kept it a secret—but it was all worthwhile when she saw their reactions.
“I just didn’t want to let them go, and when they cried I just felt it in my heart. It was amazing.”
And they haven’t stopped cuddling for a minute since she’s been back.
“We’ve always been close, but this has made us so much closer.”