Beverley Voukelatos (50) has worked as an ICU nurse for the last 25 years and is now based at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.
She was on holiday in Greece with her husband Stathis and daughter Ariana when she took a call from her 18-year-old son Elias, who was at home and feeling increasingly unwell.
She said: “Elias had been working at his part time job all day and called us about midnight. But Greece is two hours ahead so it was 2am for us. He said he was feeling really unwell and had a sore toe. I asked him to send me a picture and when I saw it I immediately knew it was serious.
“He’s had a blister which had become infected and the ‘tracking’ was going up his foot, showing a serious infection. I knew it was nasty and serious and he immediately went to the Queen Elizabeth, where he was admitted. By that time the ‘tracking’ was going up his leg – a sign the infection was travelling through his body.
“He had a high temperature, low blood pressure and a high heart rate, so it was fairly serious. Even though I was abroad and thousands of miles away, I had complete faith in my QEUH colleagues to care for him.”
Beverley decided to let her mum, who is 74, know that Elias was in hospital, but not to worry. To her surprise, when she called her mum, she discovered she too was in the Queen Elizabeth – being cared for in a cardiology ward.
“After I apologised for waking her, mum told me she had been in hospital for a few days, but hadn’t told me as she wanted me to enjoy my holiday, without worrying about her,” said Beverley.
“So within an hour or so, I went from being carefree on holiday to having my son and mum both in the same hospital. It might sound strange, but I genuinely mean it. I was completely re-assured my colleagues would doing everything they should be for them.
“Elias kept saying ’everyone is so nice’. Yes they were super busy, but everyone was getting on with their job, while taking time to be truly caring. They were being mum for me!”
Before she knew it colleagues were checking up on Elias and his gran and reporting back to Beverley about their progress. Elias got home a few days later after an operation to flush out the infection and gran was close behind on the way out the door.
Beverley added: “I think having an unusual surname helped too. When Elias was going in for his op, the anaesthetist who I have worked with, asked if we were related. She called me up right there and then and also let me speak to my son. It made such a difference.
“I’m now back at work and able to thanks everyone who cared for mum and Elias. We’re a great team and I’ve never been prouder.”