CASE STUDY – Karen Brandwood

Picture of Karen Brandwood

Trinity Hospice Schools Link Co-ordinator, Karen Brandwood, was among the first people to get the Pfizer vaccine against COVID-19 on the day it was rolled out across the nation. Here is her story.

Picture of Karen Brandwood
Karen Brandwood

As soon as I got the email on the Monday from Dr Au telling me I was able to have the vaccine and instructions on how to get it, I was on the phone. There was absolutely no hesitation; I was delighted. I just felt like this was my first step into freedom.

I’ve been at home since March, only going out for short spells of exercise. I haven’t stepped foot inside a shop for nine months and let’s not talk about my hair! For someone who is usually so independent, it’s been hard for me to be so completely reliant on other people.

Booking my place to get the vaccine was a really smooth process, and the injection itself was no bother – just like getting the flu jab. If anything, I maybe felt a little more tired at the end of the day, but by the next morning it was like nothing had happened.

Except, I felt like everything had happened. It was an early Christmas present – I will be free after so long at home. I will be able to see my granddaughters properly. I’ll get to have those much treasured hugs with them; I can just hold them! I’ve missed my family so much.

When this current lockdown is over, I will be able to go into a shop and browse, picking something I want just because I’ve seen it. I can get a haircut. I can go back to work!

I’ve been working at home since March through Zoom, email and telephone. But it will be so much easier – so much better for all involved – to get back into schools helping staff and pupils through their struggles. Those staff have been through so much, they’ve needed our help more than ever.

I know there may be some of my colleagues here at Trinity who are anxious about having the vaccine, but from my own experience, it’s absolutely fine.

Of course, things will take time to get back to normality, and after so long indoors, being out will take some adjusting, but I really feel like this is the first step on the road back to normality. I can walk down the road without feeling scared. I can’t wait.

I feel really lucky that, through my work at the hospice, I have been given the opportunity to have the vaccine and get back to work properly. I’m so thankful.

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