Girl ‘scared’ paramedic dad ‘will be next’ to catch coronavirus

The 12-year-old daughter of a paramedic has written a heartbreaking letter to Boris Johnson urging him to provide suitable protective gear for her key worker dad.

Poppy Goldsmith, from Eastham, Wirral, has called on the government to provide paramedics with better PPE after watching her dad go to work every day.

In a letter to the PM, she wrote: "As much as we need to help others, it's now your turn to help us."

Poppy's mum Kirsty Wilson, 50, said she was "heartbroken" to read the thoughtful and desperate letter her daughter wrote.

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Kirsty said her partner, Darren Goldsmith, 50, is attending many calls where patients may have coronavirus symptoms.

She said the household, where Poppy's 80-year-old grandmother is also living, is doing "everything it can" to prevent the spread of the deadly virus, but she would like to see Darren and other paramedics given more PPE.

She said when Darren returns home from work he immediately showers, his clothes are washed straight away and the house is deep-cleaned daily.

Poppy's letter to Mr Johnson reads: "My dad is a paramedic and I need your help. Every day I watch you on TV and you tell us that we are protected, that protection gear will be given to all those who need it and we will get through this."

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The 12-year-old goes on to say that she fears her dad does not have "adequate PPE" or masks that offer enough protection.

Her letter continues: "Every call, each person they go to, a person with suspected covid [19] needs them. But now I need you. I need you because I am scared.

"His work partner now has confirmed covid [19] and I'm worried my dad will be next."

Poppy Goldsmith, 12, and her letter to Boris Johnson

The Wirral Grammar School student said she is also worried for her 80-year-old grandmother.

Kirsty said: "She should not be worrying about this at her age."

She added: "It would be fantastic for her if her writing a letter could make a difference. She said she wrote it because she wants to make a difference."

Seven health workers in the UK have died so far in the pandemic, it was confirmed at Saturday's press briefing, including two NHS nurses.

Earlier this week the ECHO revealed the flimsy equipment paramedics on the front line were given to wear during this challenging time.

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Photos appeared to show a plastic apron and cloth mask.

A senior city ambulance worker, who works in Liverpool, previously told the ECHO: "We go into addresses rife with contamination where the virus has been living for days.

"I don't know why we are being told this equipment is sufficient. We feel at risk."

The flimsy apron and mask being worn by Merseyside paramedics

Responding to the ECHO's previous story about paramedic equipment, spokeswoman for North West Ambulance Service said: “We follow the PPE advice and guidance of Public Health England specifically set out for ambulance staff and has taken delivery of a substantial amount of PPE with more on order.

"In this challenging environment, we are distributing these to frontline staff as quickly as we can."

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She added: “The situation in the UK is a unique one and the trust and its frontline staff are working hard to respond to our patients as quickly and effectively as we can.

"We are working closely with NHS organisations to set up testing for our staff – the first groups are being tested today, so those who don’t need to be in isolation can return to work as quickly as possible.

“It is vital that the public help us to help them by only using 999 in a life-threatening emergency and using 111 Online for urgent healthcare advice.

"If they have no access to the internet or their condition worsens, they should call 111.”

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