A woman with terminal cancer has told Sky News of her relief at a face-to-face reunion with her family after the easing of lockdown.
On the day Scotland entered the first phase of lifting its strict restrictions, Angela McLaughlin was able to meet her husband and two daughters for the first time in nine weeks.
The 46 year-old nurse has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and is a patient at the Marie Curie Hospice in Edinburgh.
She told Sky News that it was “great to spend some quality time” with her family, who she attributes to being “our treatment”.
The lockdown enforced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic meant Mrs McLaughlin had to miss out on celebrating Mother’s Day, both her mum’s and daughter’s birthdays and “getting to cuddle my bairns”.
Recalling the happy moment she told her family they could finally see her in-person, she said: “I spoke to [my daughters] last night and asked them if they would like to come and visit me and the two of them started screaming. They were so happy.
“The aim now is to spend more time with the girls.
“Hopefully it won’t be too long until I can get hugs and then just get out and about.”
Mrs McLaughlin was eventually able to spend time with her husband Mark and daughters, Megan and Amy, in the hospice garden.
They were able to talk – but not touch – because of her compromised immunity.
This ongoing restriction saddens Mr McLaughlin, who is looking forward to being able to hug his wife again.
He said: “You need your family to be there to support you. Nothing beats a good cuddle, even under normal circumstances.
“You need that bit of reassurance – bit of ‘it’s going to be fine, it’s going to be okay.’ You can do as much electronic media communications, emails, texts, it’s not the same as a cuddle.”
Marie Curie is seeking emergency donations after coronavirus forced the cancellation of its annual daffodil appeal.
The charity operates an open door policy for friends and relatives of patients, but that was suspended following the outbreak.
Libby Milton, the lead nurse at the Marie Curie Hospice in Edinburgh, told Sky News there was “no comparison” to seeing loved one face-to-face, rather than communicating through a screen.
She added: “It would be lovely if they could hug, if they could kiss -they can’t yet.
“But they will soon, we will get there, and, in the meantime, just to be able to talk naturally, to be able to be with each other, to be a bit more relaxed – that means a lot.”
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