‘Covid vaccine could have saved my mum – but I know people who still refuse it’, says Sheffield NHS fundraiser
He lost his ‘fit and healthy’ mum to the coronavirus – yet Sheffield man Craig Allsop admits he still knows people who will not take the vaccine he believes could have saved her.
This weekend, Craig, from Gleadless, will walk 52 miles to raise money for an NHS staff fund to help the doctors and nurses who tried to save the life of his mum, Susan Allsop, who died of coronavirus aged 64 after being admitted to hospital in February.
As he prepares for the charity trek on Sunday, he said he would urge those who have not had the vaccine to get their jab, and feels it is important to remember those who have been lost to the virus.
He said: “Mum was not vaccinated – it was not her time to have the jab. She got her invitation two weeks after she had been admitted to hospital. She would definitely have had the vaccine. We had stuck to the rules and done what was asked.
"Our immediate family have taken the vaccine – it is a shame some people won’t take it. I know people who won’t take it, which is heart breaking. I don’t want to take people’s choice away from them, but deep down I feel that if mum had even had a first jab, then perhaps we would not be were we are now. I think the risk is minimal, but there are too many conspiracy theories putting some people off.
“Mum had slight asthma, and took tablets for high blood pressure, but she was fit and well.
"You hear people compaining about not being able to go on holiday. I think people are forgetting the impact the virus has had on people who have lost loved ones.”
Craig, aged 35, was aware of the hard work of the doctors and nurses who looked after his mum at the Northern General and Royal Hallamshire hospitals. He said he sometimes spoke to staff who had come back on shift after just six hours of rest since their last working day had ended.
"When mum was in hospital, I wanted to do a challenge for her. She lived with us in Gleadless, but she had a caravan in Lincoln for over 30 years. I’m going to walk from the house to the caravan, and I’m calling it from where she lived to where she loved. Now I’m doing it in mum's memory,” he said.
More than £6,000 has been donated so far. It will be split between the funds at Sheffield hospitals at Lincoln hospitals
Craig said it gave him comfort to give back to the NHS staff that worked so hard for his mum and everyone else.
“We are hoping to get the money into a fund that goes to the staff for meals and refreshments while they are working these long shifts,” he added.
Paying tribute to his mum, he said she was beautiful and always full of life and joy.
He said: “We need to focus on the 64 amazing years mum had and all the happy times we all shared with her. Keep your family close and cherish every moment.”
To donate money in memory of Susan for the NHS, visit Craig’s online Just Giving page on https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/SusanAllsop