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“The best birthday present anyone could ever ask for”

Glennis at her front door looking very surprisedMike Edwards, an Emergency Call Coordinator working in our 999 control room, surprised his Nan for her 80th birthday after spending five months apart because of coronavirus.

A nurse for 50 years, Glennis was not expecting to be reunited with her grandson since she has been isolating at home in Reading to keep herself safe from the virus. After seeing Mike appear at her doorstep with a balloon she said: “It was the best birthday present anyone could ever ask for.”

Originally from Reading, Mike has been living in London working on the frontline of the health crisis answering 999 calls which, at the peak of the pandemic, had 11,000 Londoners a day calling – up from 5,000 calls previously on a typically busy day. Knowing his Nan would want a hug, the week before Mike went to surprise Glennis he was extremely careful to ensure he did not open her up to any unnecessary dangers by isolating in a hotel close to work.

Mike said: “The past few months have been really difficult but it has been wonderful being able to see her again.”

To keep herself busy, Glennis has been spending hours of her time making masks for London Ambulance Service staff out of bits of material she has found around the house. She has made over 150 face coverings for call handlers and office-based staff already. Mike said: “Unless she is eating or sleeping she is making masks.”

Mike will spend the rest of the week with his Nan before traveling back to London to start his nightshift on Friday. They are not sure when they will next be able to see each other again, but Glennis said she will treasure that moment forever.

Watch the video

Video transcript:

00:00:00.000 –> 00:00:05.000

<v Audio Descriptions> Glennis walks through her hallway and goes to open her front door.

00:00:10.000 –> 00:00:20.000

<v Audio Descriptions> Glennis opens her front door and finds a gift bag with a pink balloon on her doorstep.

00:00:21.000 –> 00:00:29.000

<v Audio Descriptions> Mike jumps out from a hiding place around the corner of the house laughing.

00:00:30.000 –> 00:00:40.000

<v Audio Descriptions> Glennis walks forward and hugs Mike.

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