Family's grateful thanks to NHS after popular Wigan nurse with Covid-19 leaves intensive care

Relatives of Caroline Atherton, who was left fighting for her life due to the virus, have paid glowing tribute to the NHS for the care provided.

Friday, 15th May 2020, 5:47 pm
Caroline Atherton leaving the intensive care unit at Wigan Infirmary

Caroline, an auxiliary nurse, spent more than a week in the intensive care unit (ICU) at Wigan Infirmary after becoming seriously ill.

However, on Thursday she was well enough to be taken to a different ward.

And there were emotional scenes as her colleagues lined the corridors to clap as she was being wheeled through the hospital.

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Her daughter Stacey Boffey today told of just how ill the coronavirus had made her mother and conveyed the family’s grateful thanks to the health service for how they had looked after her.

It is thought that Caroline, from Higher Ince, will have to remain in hospital for another week or so, but her relatives are now able to hope that the worst may be over.

Stacey said: “We’re so proud of her.

“We always say she’s like Superwoman. She’s come such a long way in a short period of time.

“It really was 50-50 at one stage.

“She spent over a week at home very poorly but it came to a point where she had to go to hospital. She couldn’t talk properly and couldn’t move, she was so weak.

“She’s doing well now and personally I feel the only way is getting better.

“There’s a lot of doom and gloom at the moment so it’s a big thing that my mum has come out of ICU. I just hope it gives a morale boost to the doctors and nurses.

“They are all working so hard and it can’t be easy for them.

“We just want to say a big thank you to the staff for everything they have done.

“They’re working in full PPE which we know is hard because mum has done it and is emotionally draining.

“They’ve been holding mum’s hand, supporting her, putting her at ease when she’s been upset or frightened.

“They’ve been there for her and we are forever grateful.”

A spokesperson for Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh (WWL) NHS Foundation Trust said: "Caroline is a much-loved member of staff on Astley ward, she has a heart of gold and lightens the room with her smile. We all are praying each night for her to get better."

Caroline, 54, had been working with Covid-19 patients and was in work when she fell ill. She got a test and the result came back positive.

Stacey, 30, said: “We always knew as a family there was a higher possibility of her getting the virus working on a ward like that, but you always think it won’t be you.

“It was really upsetting when the result came back positive, but the NHS staff have all been absolutely amazing with her.”

Caroline is married to Mark, a mum to Stacey, Robert and David and also has five grandchildren.