Coronavirus: Nurse in funding bid for patient iPad after dad dies

Aimee and her dad JamesImage copyright Aimee Hilton
Image caption Aimee Hilton has raised just over £4,500 to buy iPads for hospitals

A nurse has raised more than £4,500 to put iPads in hospitals so isolated patients can video-call their families.

Aimee Hilton, from Bristol, came up with the idea after losing her dad, James Spalding, to coronavirus in March.

“I fought with the staff to let me see him before he died, even offering to bring my own PPE, and they were so patient with me,” she said.

“It was a saving grace I could be there at the end on an iPad.”

Mr Spalding was initially being treated for a side effect of cancer when he went into hospital in Cornwall.

Ten days after being admitted he tested positive for Covid-19.

“Not being able to see him in hospital was really hard, because I have a medical background and was just desperate to get down there and see what was going on,” Ms Hilton said.

“Even at the end of his life I didn’t want him to be alone, so we Skyped every day.”

Image copyright Aimee Hilton
Image caption Mr Spalding had underlying health conditions when he contracted coronavirus

Describing her dad as a “Cornish legend”, Ms Hilton believes the video calls will help her children through the bereavement process.

“He got to see his grandkids, and that was really special,” she said.

Ms Hilton is planning to cycle from Bristol Suspension Bridge to Tywardreadth in Cornwall – where her father lived – and has set up a fundraising page for donations.

So far she has raised enough to purchase 11 iPads.

Ms Hilton, who trains staff at the new Nightingale Hospital, has been in touch with several hospices and hospitals in Bristol about distributing the tablet computers.

“My dad did a lot of charity work and raised a lot of money in his life so I know he would be happy for me,” she said.

“The support from friends, family, the students I lecture has been amazing.”

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