BURTON Albion steward Alastair MacVicar has made a special presentation to NHS staff who supported him through Covid.
At half-time in the home game against Shewsbury, Alastair presented a framed signed shirt expressing thanks to hospital staff, who joined him for hospitality at the game.
Alastair lost four members of his family to Covid and he himself became dangerously ill with coronavirus.
He said: “At the start of the first lockdown in March 2020 my life was turned upside down and my Covid relationship with the NHS began. My mum and dad were in hospital together, both had tested positive. At the time, visitors were not allowed into hospitals, and we relied on staff at Queen’s Hospital caring for them and updating us with daily phone calls.
“Unfortunately, my mum, Jean MacVicar, died on 28th March, followed just three days later by my dad Keith MacVicar on 31st March. If that wasn't devastating enough, my sister Jayne was admitted to Queen’s a few days after my dad's death and was immediately put onto a ventilator, but once again the Covid virus claimed Jayne and she died on Easter Saturday, 11th April. In the space of fourteen days, half my family was wiped out by Covid and the staff at Queen’s provided their end-of life-care.
“But Covid wasn't finished with us yet, as Christmas 2020 was spent organising a funeral for my mother-in-law who also died from Covid complications on 7th December.
"I was hoping that 2021 was to be a better year, but in early January my entire household tested positive for Covid, I was getting progressively worse and after three 999 calls, I was taken into Ward 3 at Queen’s at 4am on 25th January 2021.
"During my time in hospital, I could not praise the Ward 3 staff enough for saving my life with all the various options and treatments that were available later in the pandemic. I met some wonderful, hard-working, caring staff and several of these recognised my surname and came to talk to me about my mum and dad. I found it amazing that 10 months after my parents had died and with all the patients that had passed through their hands in the meantime, they still remembered looking after my parents and spoke fondly of them.
"I have not met any of the people who looked after me in hospital since I was discharged over a year ago, but I think of them nearly every day. Several of them were invited to the game as my guests today, to enjoy the hospitality of the club on a day when we all gave thanks and celebrated the NHS workers across the country. We are very lucky to have the NHS and all the wonderful staff that work for it. Without their devotion and hard work, I would not be here today, now working as a steward at the club that I have supported for the last 45 years.”