“I have seen more deaths and births than I can count, but I love making a difference to the lives of my patients and their families,” said Ethereal, who has worked in a local Sussex hospital for more than a decade.
Reflecting on her experience working in the emergency department operating theatre, the 40-year-old said that “being a nurse is both physically and mentally demanding – sometimes there is no time for lunch or even toilet breaks, because patients come first.”
“I am not just a nurse, but a mother and a wife. Working night shifts leads to stress, a lack of sleep, and other problems with my health and wellbeing,” said the mum of 3.
“When COVID hit, we often had to spend an uninterrupted 13-hour shift wearing PPE in the emergency department. The kit can be very uncomfortable, and wearing a facemask fogged up my glasses to the point where I sometimes couldn’t even see the patients I was meant to be caring for.”
Ethereal was speaking out about her experiences as part of Optical Express’s Thanks a Million campaign, which aims to thank NHS and Emergency Service Workers for the extraordinary work they do by donating another £1 million worth of free laser eye surgery. She describes the surgery as nothing short of life-changing: “My ability to take care of patients depends on my eyesight, so it didn’t feel good to know that I could have given them more if it wasn’t for my limited vision.
“I started wearing contact lenses during my shifts. Yes, it removes the nuisance of wearing glasses, but it’s distracting when you are constantly blinking due to dry eyes. Thanks to the laser eye surgery, my life has changed for the better.”
David Moulsdale, Chairman and CEO of Optical Express, said: “Our ‘Thanks a Million’ campaign was created to give hardworking NHS nurses like Ethereal the thanks that they deserve.
We launched it to give back to the people who keep us safe, to show the nation’s appreciation for the sacrifices they made, particularly during the pandemic. Brits are rightly thankful towards NHS staff, who work so hard to protect us all, and we’re delighted to be able to give them something in return through our Thanks a Million campaign.”
It is the second time that Optical Express has chosen to thank NHS and Emergency Service workers in this way. In 2017 they launched their first ‘Thanks a Million’ campaign which saw them give away over £1 million worth of free laser eye surgery. Over the course of the two campaigns more than £2 million worth of surgery will improve the lives of NHS and Emergency Service workers. Since Optical Express was founded over 33 years ago, the team are proud to have supported hundreds of humanitarian and philanthropic projects, donating over £33 million worthwhile causes in the UK and abroad. By the end of this year it will be over £34 million.