Nominate a nurse: Perth COVID-19 frontline nurse Gail Allen cares for patients and sick son

Angela PownallThe West Australian
Gail Allen with her three boys, Taj, 15, Jack, 18 and Luke, 5.
Camera IconGail Allen with her three boys, Taj, 15, Jack, 18 and Luke, 5. Credit: Daniel Wilkins/The West Australian

It has been a tough year for nurse Gail Allen and her young family.

The single mum was dealing with the threat of coronavirus on the frontline of Royal Perth Hospital’s emergency department last month when there was devastating news at home.

Her 15-year-old son Taj was diagnosed with sarcoma, a malignant tumour in his leg.

Taj had major surgery on April 2 to remove the cancer and the family now faces an anxious wait to see if any more treatment is needed.

After taking time off work while Taj was in hospital, Ms Allen is now back at work in the emergency department.

You don’t know who’s coming through the door and what they’re bringing.

“It was very frightening, but he’s doing really well,” she said.

The 34-year-old has been nominated in Crown Perth and The West Australian Healthcare Heroes campaign to honour the extraordinary work of WA nurses.

Ms Allen said she had been worried about bringing COVID-19 home, but she and her colleagues took many precautions to minimise the risk.

“You don’t know who’s coming through the door and what they’re bringing. It was like that even pre-COVID-19,” she said.

“There are lots of infectious diseases that we’re exposed to all the time but obviously now it’s been highlighted so much.”

She said she had an “amazing group of colleagues” in the emergency department, which helped her deal with the difficult job.

Ms Allen was nominated by her close friend Carly Heath, who said “if anyone is deserving of some R&R, Gail needs it”.

We are looking for 250 WA nurses to enjoy a staycation with a companion at Crown Perth, including fine dining and pampering.

To nominate a nurse, explain in 100 words or less why she or he deserves the treat.

Nominations close tomorrow.

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