Paddy Joyce, 17, began writing the thank you letters to help with his anxiety (Picture: PA)
An autistic teenager has sent almost 700 thank you cards to doctors and nurses for all their life-saving work during the pandemic.
Paddy Joyce, 17, began writing to the NHS workers to help with his anxiety after becoming upset watching the daily Covid death figures.
With the help of staff at Glasgow Royal Infirmary (GRI), Paddy has been able to hand-write 663 cards to members of the team.
Paddy said: ‘I saw how sad and upset they were on the news. My mum said I should write to someone, so I asked her to find someone and lots of people wanted one, so I want to write to everyone.’
His mother Indra said writing the letters helps with Paddy’s concerns about Covid.
She said: ‘Statistics make sense to him because they are numbers and organised. He honed in on Covid death stats and they made him very upset, but he couldn’t stop looking at them.
‘Now, he’ll read them, and they make him determined to write more cards so he can help make the doctors and nurses happy.
‘And because a fair few respond to him, he feels he is making a difference. He now feels he has purpose.’
Nearly 700 NHS workers have received one of Paddy’s thank you cards (Picture: PA)
Paddy is busy writing more letters to send to doctors and nurses (Picture: PA)
The first of the cards were opened by people working in the intensive care unit (ICU) at the hospital.
ICU nurse Pat Cruickshanks said: ‘This last year has been so different to anything we’ve known and it’s not over yet.
‘We’re still very busy with both Covid and non-Covid patients and gestures like these provide something of a boost to keep us going.
‘I know that everyone in the team and across the hospital is really grateful and I hope, at some point, we all get to meet Paddy to say thanks to him in person. He should be so proud of what he has done.’
Margaret Cooper, an auxiliary within the ICU, said: ‘You sometimes think that no-one else cares or sees what you are going through, so it’s just nice to feel that we’re not forgotten.
‘It’s amazing that he’s thought of all of us and the amount of work he’s put in is just fantastic. I really do appreciate it. He sounds like a very kind young man and I hope we can see him soon.’
Paddy will soon be starting sixth year at secondary school and despite his complex needs, he hopes to one day work within the NHS.
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