During her busy shift as an infant helper, Lizzie McLoughlin spotted her colleague, Debbie, as she washed the hallway.
The sight of Debbie working so hard to clean up the busy maternity ward at North Manchester General Hospital gave Lizzie a wave of inspiration.
So Lizzie decided to copy the sight in a painting.
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She took a picture of Debbie and later embarked on watercolors, pen, ink and watercolor paper.
It only took her a few hours to create the amazing work of art.
“I really had an idea that I would celebrate the whole team at North Manchester General Hospital,” Lizzie from Bury told BUT
“So I got a sudden thought: oh, I want to paint Debbie, who’s our amazing maid who works so hard.
“The staff at home are the lifeblood of the NHS.
“I took a picture of Deb, and then I painted it afterwards.
“I paint live, just from real life, by nature.
“But in the hospital, I’m literally at work, so I can not sit there and get my paints out – me That’s not how it works in the NHS! ”
After working at North Manchester General Hospital for 12 years, Lizzie, 46, is keen to use her artistic talent to celebrate the key workers she calls “the unsung heroes” of the NHS.
She is full of praise for the women’s and children’s facility, which provides pregnancy and maternity care as well as intensive care for small and vulnerable babies.
“Usually, what you see in the media is pictures of doctors in the intensive care unit and stuff like that,” she explained.
“But there are other parts of it.
“You have housekeeping staff to go to these places, catering staff, porters, housekeepers, students, nursery nurses, hearing screeners, ward assistants, aid workers like myself.
“Everyone shows up and helps the doctors and the midwives.
“We have top executives who come into the departments when they need it, just to support the families.
“We’ve got babies looking at our faces while wearing masks and face masks, but we’re still trying to make it close and personal for the mothers.
“There are tears, but also a lot of smiles and laughter.
“I just wanted to celebrate all that, how we all work as a team.”
North Manchester General Hospital has faced its challenges throughout the pandemic, further motivating Lizzie to do something special for her colleagues.
Lizzie continued: “Working through Covid,it has been difficult, but everyone has really, really worked together as a team.
“I just think it’s amazing how ingenious everyone has been throughout this case, supporting families, supporting mothers, trying to make it as normal as possible.
“I think there’s a public perception that Covid has somehow disappeared.
“But nothing has really changed in the hospital.
“I work in the maternity ward, so we all test for Covid when they come in.
“The challenge, I think, is that people are more scared now that they’re coming into the hospital to have children.
“I think they do not have to be afraid, because we are safe and we are clean and we want to give them the best birth and all the attention and care they need.
“A lot has changed in the NHS over the years – it’s definitely more stretched now.
“But the staff work really hard and we’re still trying to get in touch with people.”
Alongside her NHS job, Lizzie has a “real passion” for art.
The Bury-based NHS employee studied textiles at the university and is currently working on a diploma in illustration of children’s books.
At home, Lizzie has her own studio room, where she can be found, sketched and painted away – when she has time.
Several paintings of unsung heroes are already being planned, according to Lizzie.
“I want this to be a collection of art,” she said.
“In my mind, I have all these people that I would like to take pictures of next time, such as the hospital catering staff and my colleagues in the infant food team.
“I’ve literally got people in line now!
“Someone suggested I do an exhibition at the hospital – I really wanted to do that.”
On social media, Lizzie shared her painting of Debbie, where she was overwhelmed with kind messages from people who loved gestures.
“So many people have shared the picture,” Lizzie added.
“People have been really touched by it.
“They say things I did not expect, such as how I painted Debbie with dignity, and that her job is being celebrated for what it is, which is a really important, dignified job in a hospital, and it’s never really seen that way.
“I do not think my colleagues at North Manchester General Hospital really knew that art was my background, so thi just amazed me with their reactions.
“It was absolutely amazing.”
Lizzie’s art can be seen on her Instagram page at @lizziemcloughlinart.
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