A woman has shared her experiences with the NHS in a powerful post on Facebook – and her message has since gone viral, touching the hearts of countless social media users.
Sharing a photograph of herself sleeping alongside her terminally ill mother, teacher Rebekah Hodgson explained that she felt “compelled” to share her story after watching politicians “lie about the state of the NHS”.
“I've debated long and hard about posting this as I feel it is a very private family moment which my severely ill mother may not wish to be publicised,” she said, in a post accompanying the candid photo.
Hodgson continued: “I am a seven month pregnant secondary school teacher who has sat in the Royal Berkshire Hospital for 11 days with my mother and I can promise you that our NHS is struggling,” she wrote.
“That last night no one was free to help my mum go to the toilet. That staff were appalled with how long she had to wait for personal care and greatly distressed to have caused her and us such upset but they had to firefight. That [this] wasn't their fault.”
Hodgson went on to say that her mother has been battling breast cancer for three years, and she is grateful for everything the NHS has done to support her during this time, and thus wants people to consider the future of the NHS when casting their votes in the general election on 8 June.
“I know from my experience in school what it is to desperately want to help but not to be able to; given a lack of funding and resources,” she said. “I know people are impassioned about Brexit & nuclear weaponry and anti-terrorism but NONE of that means anything if we cannot give our loved ones respect and care, if the values our society are based on are forgotten. What would Manchester have done without the NHS last week?
“I've sadly been in and out of this hospital for three years and I am watching it crumble before me. Please, if you really think it is just a 'lefty/Snowflake banging on about the NHS and schools' come down here then. Spend time on these wards. Watch the suffering and then ask yourself what the right way to cast your vote is.”
Hodgson added: “I don't want sympathy for my situation, please, I want justice for our NHS and its patients. For the ‘immigrant’ doctors who saved my mum on Thursday night, staying five hours longer on shift in a bid to help my mum meet my son in two months and for all the young people who want to go to university to study to become doctors and nurses who can't afford the fees.”
She finished with the hashtag #forthemanynotthefew, Labour’s manifesto slogan.
So far, the post has been shared more than 30,340 times on Facebook, receiving 46,000 reactions and generating almost 4,000 comments.
“Thank you for sharing your story at this painful time,” wrote one. “My thoughts are with you.”
Another added: “God bless the NHS.”
It is not the first time that a post about the NHS has gone viral: in 2016, Paloma Faith made sure to express her gratitude to our National Health Service following the birth of her first child.
The Only Love Can Hurt Like This singer wrote: “After a difficult labour, resulting in an emergency C-section, I gave birth to my first child, with whom I am over the moon, in love, and delighted.”
Faith continued: “The devotion, kindness, and commitment shown by all of them was second to none, and I am humbled by the whole experience.
“I really believe the NHS to be one of the greatest achievements of this country, and it should be respected and protected by all.
“I am humbled by the unfaltering dedication I witnessed and received there,” finished Faith, “so thank you to the NHS, Melissa Whitten, Georgia Seiti, Wendy Hill, all in the Foetal Assessment Unit, and the Maternity Care Units. And god bless the NHS!”
Earlier this year, The Voice’s Emma Willis made sure to thank the NHS staff who helped to save her life when she was rushed into hospital for emergency surgery on her appendix.
It's been a funny old week.... Post 1 of 2... A week ago yesterday, I was meant to take @mattjwillis on a surprise birthday trip to ibiza. Instead, at 6am, I entered Barnet General A&E with a stomach ache that was getting progressively worse. I thought I may be wasting everyone's time with a bad case of trapped wind 😳, but 9 hours later, I was wheeled into theatre and what they found was a horribly infected appendix. The man in this picture was my surgeon, Marco Venza. He, and his team, were incredible. Thank you so so much for taking care of me and for putting me at ease every time I panicked!Thank you to Amy, Scarlet, Karen, Caroline, Sophia, Jan, Mary-Beth, Gemma, Maha, Clement, Gabriel, and all the other brilliant and kind people who work on Damson ward. And finally, to everyone working their butts off within the NHS fighting to make it work, thank YOU! #longlivetheNHS
A post shared by Emma Willis (@emmawillisofficial) on
“The man in this picture was my surgeon, Marco Venza,” explained Willis, when she posted a selfie with her doctor to Instagram. “He, and his team, were incredible. Thank you so, so much for taking care of me and for putting me at ease every time I panicked!”
Willis continued: “Thank you to Amy, Scarlet, Karen, Caroline, Sophia, Jan, Mary-Beth, Gemma, Maha, Clement, Gabriel, and all the other brilliant and kind people who work on Damson ward.
“And finally, to everyone working their butts off within the NHS fighting to make it work, thank YOU!”
Main image: facebook.com/RebekahHodgson