'high risk' NHS worker parents reunite with their daughter

Emotional moment NHS worker couple wearing full PPE reunite with their daughter, 6, after making the ‘hardest decision ever’ to separate from her for three weeks due to Covid-19

  • Amanda and Ryan Holland were filmed surprising their daughter Kalishah
  • Scotland based couple were separated from their six-year-old for three weeks
  • They decided to isolate away from Kalishah because of their ‘high risk’ NHS jobs
  • Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID

Two ‘hero’ NHS workers have shared the heartwarming moment they were reunited with their six-year-old daughter after spending three weeks apart due to the coronavirus.

Amanda and Ryan Holland, from Ayr, Scotland, were filmed surprising Kalishah, while wearing head-to-toe PPE due to their exposure to Covid-19.

The couple, who work alongside each other in Ayr Hospital, said it was the ‘hardest decision of their lives’ to separate their family and send their daughter to stay with her grandparents.

Amanda, 32, who is a domestic supervisor and nursing assistant, and Ryan, 35, who is a hospital porter, said they were desperate to see Kalishah. 

Kalishah, six, was surprised by her parents in head-to-toe PPE, after being separated for three weeks. Pictured: Amanda, 32, and Ryan Holland, 35, with Kalishah

Sharing her decision on Facebook, Amanda wrote: ‘We decided it would be in the best interest of our daughter and my mum and dad that the 3 of them would isolate together away from me and Ryan. We both work in an acute hospital setting, posing a very high risk to Kalishah catching this virus.

‘Ryan and I are absolutely devastated and feel lost without our wee side chick, but from advice we were given it was for the best to keep them safe. Now people might realise why we get so p****d off when we see people not following the rules.

‘Can’t sacrifice being outside when we sacrificed our daughter because of this virus. Everyone please just stay at home and follow the guidelines so I can get my baby home.’

The video sees Amanda and Ryan surprise their daughter and embrace her in an emotional hug.

It has received nearly 8,000 views and hundreds of comments in just 24 hours.

Mrs Holland said she came up with the idea to surprise their daughter while wearing full PPE after seeing a video from America of a young girl being reunited with her police officer father during lockdown.

She said: ‘It made me get my thinking cap on as to how I could do the same. We’ve been desperate for three weeks now, and it’s hard because she is always with us.

Amanda, 32, who is a domestic supervisor and nursing assistant, and Ryan, 35, who is a hospital porter, made a decision to isolate away from their daughter because of their ‘high risk’ jobs. Pictured: Amanda and Ryan with Kalishah

Footage of Kalishah reuniting with her parents racked up almost 8,000 views within 24 hours of being posted. Pictured: Kalishah with her grandparents 

‘I’m so happy that I got a cuddle from Kalishah. We all needed it because we miss each other very much. My mum and dad are both in the high-risk category so we can’t see them or our daughter at the moment.’

After an emotional video call three weeks earlier, Amanda’s parents agreed the best decision would be for them to take Kalishah, so the three of them could safely comply with lockdown guidelines.

Mrs Holland added: ‘Staying away from my parents and Kalishah is to keep them all safe as the risk from my husband and I is just too much.’

The couple said Kalishah was ‘completely fine’ with seeing her parents in full PPE – as the family wore head-to-toe body suits, masks, gloves and goggles to keep safe.

 Kalishah, pictured on Facetime with Amanda, has been isolating with her grandparents while her parents work for the NHS

Amanda came up with a plan with her parents and they tricked Kalishah by telling her she was going to help do some painting in the garden.

Mrs Holland said: ‘My mum and dad had told her she was going out the back to help her Papa paint the wall. Little did she know me and her dad would be outside dressed the same as her for a cuddle.

‘She was completely gobsmacked when I shouted to her for a cuddle because we usually only see each other through the window and on FaceTime.’

Despite staying strong and positive through this tough time, Amanda admitted her family’s sacrifices are harder to face when people ignore the rules.

Amanda recently took to Facebook blasting those who are not following Covid-19 guidelines seriously. Pictured: Kalishah on Facetime with Amanda

Amanda praised groups in her local community that have organised food for the vulnerable. Pictured: Amanda, Ryan and Kalishah

In a recent Facebook post, she slammed those not taking Covid-19 seriously and said she ‘feels like the worst person in the world’ after having to separate from her daughter.

The mother also described the heart wrenching impact Covid-19 has had on their usual family routine.

She said: ‘At night, we video call and we cuddle in bed and watch a movie together till Kalishah falls asleep.’

Kalishah said she’ll never be able to repay her parents for taking Kalishah, to keep her safe. Pictured: Kalishah with her grandparents

Despite being exhausted, Amy and Ryan said the morale and staff are brilliant in the hospital they work in.

They praised their team, saying: ‘We are all in this together and we will fight with every ounce of fight we have in us. We are a part of such a brilliant team.’

However they said the hardest thing they have had to witness is other people not taking coronavirus seriously.

Amanda said: ‘Having parties and going to the shop for minor things like a can of juice or a bar of chocolate. It’s hard when I know how serious this is and not being able to see my parents or Kalishah in all of this.’

But the couple also praised their local community and said it is great how schools and local groups have been giving out food boxes and preparing food for the vulnerable.

Mrs Holland said: ‘It’s great to see how in a crisis, the community spirit always shines through.

‘Most of all, myself and my husband just want to thank my mum and dad for taking Kalishah away from the risk and keeping her safe. I’ll never be able to repay them.’

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