Nurse who helped battle COVID-19 now needs your help

The 28-year-old A&E nurse returned from a career break to help support colleagues.

Matt Bodell
29 August 2020

The frontline nurse has been diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

A frontline nurse who cared for COVID-19 patients at the peak of the pandemic has been diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

ADVERTISEMENT

Neri Pucci, a 28-year-old A&E nurse who is originally from Italy, has worked at The Royal Free Hospital in the Emergency Department since 2014.

On a planned career break at the start of the pandemic, he quickly returned to the frontlines as a bank worker to help his colleagues battle COVID-19.

“I knew my colleagues were struggling during the pandemic and I felt I should come back and help,” he told the i Newspaper. 

Only six weeks after returning Neri became unwell, complaining of a fever, cough, sore throat, breathlessness and a headache – symptoms similar to COVID-19.

ADVERTISEMENT

Exhausting.

“Wearing full PPE for a 12-hour shift is quite exhausting, it makes you hot and sweaty. I had seen patients who had COVID, and of course took all precautions. So when I got ill I thought it must be the virus. I felt dizzy, short of breath and my heart was racing and then my knees went purple.”

Neri was quickly diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, a type of cancer that affects the white blood cells and requires urgent treatment.

Not on a substantive NHS contract at the time of his diagnosis, this left him ineligible for sick pay and thousands of miles away from family.

This led colleagues to set up a GoFundMe appeal to help support him during his treatment – which will include chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant.

ADVERTISEMENT

Described as a kind and hardworking nurse, his friends and colleagues are now asking people to donate and help promote the appeal that aims to cover Neri’s accommodation costs while he requires treatment.

guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments