Jonathan Gapper and fiancée Jessica Parsons both work in the Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend. Jonathan is a clinical lead nurse on the Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), and Jessica is acting ward manager on an older people’s mental health assessment unit.
Bridgend is the last place they thought they would be this week, as on May 16th, Jonathan and Jessica had planned the wedding of their dreams with a honeymoon in Mexico.
Jonathan, said: “As we both work in the health service it was evident that this was going to be the case early on and we could foresee this from March. We both made the decision to postpone our special day to 24th April 2021 with the hope that we are all in a better place by then.
“The decision to postpone both our wedding and honeymoon for another year was disappointing and frustrating. The priority for us both is that all our friends and family continue to stay safe and remain healthy through this period of uncertainty. It’s only a waiting game for us and we are patient people who understand that we are in a more fortunate position than others.”
“PICU has been supported by management staff in providing appropriate protective equipment to deal with COVID-19 and fortunately we have not had any patients with positive cases to date.
“This positive result is aided by the staff at PICU being vigilant of their own health and reporting any symptoms experienced. PICU has seen several staff members who have been symptomatic and/or had positive results for COVID-19 following testing. Fortunately all staff have recovered and continue to provide high standard care to our service users at PICU.”
There have been lots of changes for elderly services relating to Covid-19 precautions. Jess, said: “We have moved from the Princess of Wales Hospital to a vacant ward within a community hospital to create extra space for essential wards to develop.
“It has taken us some time to settle in but we have adapted to the change. Team morale is good and our motto currently is ‘It is what it is’. The team remain positive and supportive of one another through the current situation ensuring our patients are the priority and continue to receive good quality care.
“Being mental health nurses we are able to support each other and remaining in full time employment during the Covid-19 outbreak gives us both a sense of normality and routine which we find beneficial.
“Working with my colleagues under supportive managers has been inspiring during this unpredictable period where lots have changes have been made across mental health services which everyone is adapting to. I feel this will strengthen teams and it is a pleasure to see individuals supporting each other.”
In late March, Jonathan developed symptoms of Covid-19 and was required to isolate for seven days at home. This meant Jessica also had to isolate until tested. Jonathan was able to return to work 10 days after recovering from symptoms of fever, shortness of breath, aching and lack of taste/smell. Fortunately, Jessica was tested after one week of isolation and had a negative result therefore able to return to work.
Despite this setback, the couple remain positive and are looking forward to the future.