Student reunited with her mum after a year of restrictions

Wed, 31 Mar 2021 16:19:00 BST
Shona on one of her socially distanced visits and with her mum before the pandemic
Shona on one of her socially distanced visits and with her mum before the pandemic

A GCU student has finally been able to hug her mum after a year of turmoil due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

It’s been a tough 12 months for third year Mental Health Nursing student Shona Forbes, who’s had to juggle University work and placement alongside constant worry – due to her mum suffering from Mitochondrial Disease and Dementia. 

As a result of her condition, Shona’s mum was taken into a care home in 2018 – resulting in an agonising wait for government restrictions to be lifted over the last few months.  

Shona said: “It’s been hard to go from seeing her whenever I wanted, to simply not having that option. 

At first I thought it was only going to be for a month. It then started to go on longer and I had a lot of guilt and worry about the possibility of her getting covid in the care home. There were a lot of ‘what ifs’ in my head and I was also regretting not spending more time with her - I was really quite harsh on myself. 

She added: “I’ve found it really difficult because you just think the worst. My mum was worried that I’d only be able to hug her if she was dying – which just didn’t bare thinking about. 

In recent times, as restrictions began to allow relatives to see loved ones once againShona’s taken up the opportunity to have a number of socially distanced outdoor visits. However, she admits that the real moment of joy came on Saturday 27 March, when she was finally allowed to hold her mum in her arms again.  

Shona explained: “I was just so overwhelmed; it had been so long and didn’t feel real at first. I’m just so grateful that I got to hug her and that the care home kept her safe through all this. 

My mum was just over the moon and we spoke about how great it was being able to see each other indoors. Her condition means that she’s always cold, so outdoor meetings really weren’t ideal for her.  

It was also really nice because I’d encouraged her previously to get involved in art therapy and she showed me drawings that she’s been working on throughout lockdown.” 

Shona’s set to finish studying in the next couple of months, and she explained that her mum’s condition had actually played a part in her studying at GCU. 

“I think it’s definitely helped inspire me - she’s the reason I went into mental health nursing. It’s really sad but I’ve always known that my mum’s had something mentally and then physically wrong with her. 

It's also always interested me that her parents were both nurses and that really made me want to make a difference when I got older.” 

She added: “Being on placement during all this has also meant I completely appreciate and understand why restrictions are in place. It’s just great that things finally seem to be heading in the right direction!” 


By Ross Clark 
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