Collection: NHS HEROES

This year, as majority of us around the world are locked at our homes, some people are still out there risking their lives helping those affected by the COVID-19.

 

If you are an artist, consider joining a great cause, an initiative started by @tomcroftartist. The terms were simple, in Tom’s words: “HOW TO TAKE PART IN #portraitsfornhsheroes if you are an artist wanting to offer a free portrait to an NHS key worker swipe left and post the green canvas to your feed. When you are matched up, swipe through and post the red canvas to say you've been paired. It's like a traffic light system. NHS key workers who would like a free portrait please look for an artist with a green canvas offering a free portrait, then message them for the chance to match up. You can search for a green canvas under the hashtag #portraitsfornhsheroes Sadly not everyone will get paired up but let's try and grow this as far as we can. When you finish the artworks and when they're dry, if you can please post them to the NHS key worker. There will be an online exhibition and hopefully a physical exhibition too. Thanks so much for taking part. Stay safe, stay home and best wishes. Tom”

 

The paintings I offered to make will appear below. Created using iPad Pro, Procreate and Apple's pencil, and gouache brush. Follow the link added to the title of each portrait to view a video from the painting process. 

Some links to the artist who started this great initiative and to the press coverage:

https://artsandculture.google.com/project/healthcare-heroes 

https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/portraits-for-nhs-heroes-9781448218004/

https://issuu.com/artisttalkmagazine/docs/issue_12

http://www.thomascroft.co.uk/portraits-for-nhs-heroes/

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/entertainment-arts-52319539/coronavirus-artist-tom-croft-paints-nhs-key-worker-portraits-for-free

https://www.standard.co.uk/go/london/arts/tom-croft-artist-portraits-nhs-workers-a4420876.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwQC5_9sUp8​

https://www.artistsandillustrators.co.uk/news/blog/2302/artists-illustrators-magazine-latest-issue-summer-2020

Name, Title

Amaki Sogbodjor

"Amaki Sogbodjor "

This is my sixth and final portrait for the #portraitsfornhsheroes (@tomcroftartist). Meet Amaki.

“I’m Amaki, a Londoner born and bred of mixed heritage. Aged 6 I was asked what I wanted to do when I grew up - I said a doctor because it was the first thing I could think of. I’ve always been one to see a task through to the end so here I am! I am an anaesthetist specialising in paediatric anaesthesia. I use medicines to put people to sleep and look after their body’s physiology whilst the surgery takes place. It’s a job I love - children are great to work with as are my wonderful colleagues in the operating theatres.

I have been redeployed from the operating theatres to work as a doctor on the COVID ICU. It’s been incredibly hard work and emotionally challenging but also truly inspiring - my nursing colleagues who are at the bedside of our sickest patients for hours on end (in PPE) have shown superhuman levels of resilience  - It bothers me greatly that doctors get more recognition but the truth is we are nothing without the nursing staff. They are the true heroes.” 

Outside of work, Amaki has a reputation for being addicted to taking exams. She loves sports; playing more than watching, and is a problem solver. What’s great about her life is her family, friends and in particular her gorgeous daughter, all of whom are her true driving force. “Both my personal and my professional family have been my rocks - they have picked me up when it’s all felt too much.” She believes that the world needs compassion: “difficult times are ahead and we all need to remember to look beyond our own troubles - not always easy to do”. She dreams of holidays with her husband and daughter who have been so patient with her working so hard during this time!

Name, Title

Name, Title

Name, Title

Alison

"Alison"

My fifth portrait for the #portraitsfornhsheroes (@tomcroftartist) is a portrait of Alison.

“So I am Alison, a consultant anaesthetist from Staffordshire.” Initially in training to be a surgeon, Alison transitioned to anaesthesia now being lead obstetric anaesthetist. She spent a lot of time trying to get the team prepared for this crisis and making drill/teaching/guidelines and walk thorough to make sure they were all safe and patients looked after.

Hospital staff are her second family, and she would do anything for them. “Medicine is a funny thing, it forces you to give up so much with punishing rotas and average pay in training, but it also gives great privilege. Being there at birth and supporting patients at their most vulnerable time through surgery is pretty incredible. I don’t resent it although I always work so many more hours than I am paid, the nhs works on goodwill. I am not a hero though, I am a highly trained professional who tries to do my job well. Adequate ppe and pay is why we all need, not clapping or a bloody fly past or badges (sorry for being grumpy!)

Unfortunately both Alison and her husband (who she loves dearly) contracted the COVID virus: “It was hard as a wonderful colleague who I have known for years was ill at the same time as me.  He died, I survived, I’m quite traumatised by that still, so indiscriminate and such an awful illness.” Family and friends are the meaning of Alison's life. And dreams are small, she says: “I want us all to be healthy, my kids to be happy and safe and the garden to grow.  I’ve seen too much to know what is important, although no mortgage and lovely holidays would be good too 🙂”

Name, Title

Name, Title

Name, Title

"Beniamin Sanetra"

This week’s painting for the #portraitsfornhsheroes (@tomcroftartist) is a portrait of Beniamin Sanetra.

Meet Beniamin: “I’m a soon-to-be graduate nurse working in Covid Wards in Wycombe General Hospital, Buckinghamshire, Ward 12B. My main department, Trauma and Orthopaedics, is currently not functioning due to the pandemic crisis. I was unfortunate to be diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2017 which made me turn my life around and, as giving back to NHS for saving my life, I decided to get on their board and save lives myself. In 2018 I've enrolled myself for the nursing course and started working for the local community hospital to get nursing experience on top of my studies. By only having 2,5 years of experience as a healthcare worker it is very difficult to suddenly change from working in the surgical theatres to dealing with respiratory patients the next day. Not enough training was provided to us in such a little time but as I go along and take care of my Covid-19 patients I learn new things everyday and I go to the point that I have to work in Intensive Care Unit most the time now with newly gained skills. Also with this new role comes more stress but I'm managing with it. I really care about my patients, my work colleagues, who I treat as friends. But my main priority are my family especially my wife, son and my parents and parents-in-law. The only worry I have at this moment is not to expose myself to the virus and not to bring it home as my son is asthmatic and has weak lungs. People need to start understanding things. With these all social distancing, hand hygiene and staying at home I believe we can all live the life we did before this pandemic and I believe we can make it even better. I'm afraid that after this is all over most people will get back to their old habits. Why don't we carry on exercising once a day, why can't we use less public transport or cars and walk more so we can reduce the pollution, why don't we spend more time with our families and spend less time at work, why can't we appreciate healthcare and key workers more which we didn't get before this all happened. The world needs more understating and patience too.” 

Originally from Poland, Beniamin is an optimistic, all people’s person, with passion for travelling, exercising and marathons (if any will happen this year!). “My dream is to be the best husband, the best father to my children and, once achieving this goal, I would never like to change. I love where I am at this moment and I'm glad I get to help other people. Beside staying myself I would also like to progress with my career and become an Oncology Nurse Specialist one day.

Name, Title

Name, Title

Name, Title

"Viv"

My third portrait for the #portraitsfornhsheroes (@tomcroftartist) is full of colour! 

I am Viv, I live in London. I am passionate at boardgames! I love playing boardgames with my friends and families as I think that really helps us connected and a great way to form new friendships!  I am good at listening to others, I am always the listener among my friends.

A great work-life balance is what matters to Viv. People are very important too, and she loves having family and friends around. Her family has always been by her side, supporting her throughout the COVID-19 times. “My parents are my role models in life, they show me the importance of being kind and caring to people around me.” And caring she does. Viv is a Paediatric Consultant looking after sick children in a hospital. Something which has been her childhood dream as she loves children. She explaines that there hasn’t been much difference in her job now to that before COVID apart from needing to put up PPE. She gladly says she has fulfilled her dream 🙂 and believes that what the world needs is unity and understanding.

Name, Title

Name, Title

Name, Title

Name, Title

"Yvonne"

Yvonne is from London and, when she is not in caring for others, she enjoys crafts and getting all glam for times out. She has been a GP for almost 2 years now having transitioned from being a surgeon. “GPs are the cornerstone of the NHS. We manage the health of the population, diagnosing ill health, directly manage acute illness and long term conditions, health promotion as well as prescribe medications and referring to secondary care services when relevant. We are the doctors who can follow a patient through from cradle to grave. General practice has had to adapt and change during this pandemic. Most of our interaction with patients beforehand was face-to-face. Once we realised how contagious COVID19 was, given the number of patient contacts we have a day - some of whom will be elderly or have underlying health conditions, the decision by the NHS was to halt GP all but the most urgent Face-to- face consultations. We still had to manage our patients though. They still had issues with their diabetes or worsening of their heart disease. We adapted and new tech has enabled us to propel general practice into the 21st century with email consults and video consultations. In London the number of COVID patients increased. Some were not taken to hospital but still had to be managed. Sometimes I think people forget that GPs were the ones supporting the nursing homes /elderly at home who didn't want to go into hospital (or sent home from hospital) but still had difficulty breathing or COVID symptoms. Sadly we lost patients, but so many people have died from COVID19, including members of my own family.“ The lockdown exposed the vast differences amongst the society. “If I'm honest inequality is the biggest problem the world has right now.”

It is kids who get Yvonne out of bed every day… and a good cup of coffee too👌🏾 Support from her husband keeps her sane. She loves her family dearly and having to put a pause on their normal busy lives has allowed them as a unit to get to know each other better and really spend time together. Family, large and spanning over continents, is her rock giving her relief from stresses of work during the pandemic. Tragically, it's death that's brought them all closer together. It’s these times that one realises what's important in life. 

Name, Title

Name, Title

"Amanda Pickering"

My contribution and this week’s painting for the #portraitsfornhsheroes is a portrait of Amanda Pickering. Mandy lives in Barnoldswick, Lancashire together with her family (husband Brent, and children Liam, Caitlin, Kian), dogs (Kye and Bree) and a parrot (Trigger). She enjoys swimming, walking her dogs, reading, and going out for meals and drinks, as much as she loves her job. She works on maternity ward, but occasionally banks on the A&E and other wards at Airedale General Hospital in Steeton, West Yorkshire, where she started 14 months ago.

 

“Working at the hospital during the coronavirus pandemic is definitely different, on the maternity ward the ladies cant have their partners with them so I am a stand in. On the a&e department wearing masks and goggles all the time which makes it hard to breath makes you thirsty and gives you bad headaches and dry skin. The department is definitely quieter.“

Name, Title

Name, Title