North East paramedic touched by public's support during coronavirus outbreak as he fundraises for NHS charities
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Terry Short, who has been with the North East Ambulance Service for the past 24 years, has raised more than £1,500 for the NHS Charities Together after shaving his head and having the National Health Service’s initials shaved into the back.
During the coronavirus crisis, the 50-year-old paramedic has experienced moments of terror in his role as the NHS tackles the effects of the global pandemic but has also been overwhelmed with emotion by the show of support the North East, and the nation, has made to support frontline workers.
Terry, who lives in Peterlee, said: “It’s getting a bit scary because quite a few of my friends have been tested positive and I was called out to one of my colleagues who had the virus recently.
“They had been tested positive, they were really breathless and they were kept in hospital for a week.
“It is frightening. We are getting called out to people who have symptoms daily. The job is quite stressful to start with but with Covid-19 it’s a lot more stressful.
“It’s frightening because you don’t want to take it back to your family.”
But in the midst of the fear the virus has caused, Terry says he’s been touched by the support the service has received from the public – admitting he’s never seen anything like it.
“I think the support is what keeps us going especially on a Thursday when there is the clap – it’s quite emotional really,” he said.
“When I’m driving around or I’m parked up, people out jogging clap as they go past and drivers beep their horns in support.
“We’re doing the job we’re paid to do but it’s so appreciated right now.
“We normally get run-ragged and people can be waiting quite a while and they’re asking us where we’ve been when we always get there as soon as we can.
“We’re not getting any of that now. We’d have people having a go at us but there’s no one having a go at us for anything now.”
Now the dad-of-two has raised more than £1,500 thanks to more than 130 donations to the NHS Charities Together.
It all started when Terry asked his colleagues if anyone could give him a haircut – instead they offered to shave it and add a special symbol to the back of his head.
Having hoped to raise £100 when he set up the appeal, Terry, a rapid response paramedic who was previously based in Peterlee but is now based at Hartlepool North, never expected such a turnout.
“To raise over £1,500 was brilliant, it’s a bit overwhelming to be honest I really didn’t expect,” he added.
“It started for a laugh, it was a bit of a joke at first. We thought we’d try raise some money for the NHS with a £100 target – I never expected this.”
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