Perth nurse Kelly Morris was working hard caring for the State’s coronavirus patients before she found herself personally affected by the pandemic

Angela PownallThe West Australian
RPH emergency department nurse Kelly Morris, who contracted COVID-19 from virus patients she treated.
Camera IconRPH emergency department nurse Kelly Morris, who contracted COVID-19 from virus patients she treated. Credit: Daniel Wilkins/The Sunday Times

When nurse Kelly Morris woke with a heavy feeling in her chest and a dry cough one morning last month, she knew she could not go to work.

The 48-year-old works in the Emergency Department of Royal Perth Hospital, which is where she most likely caught coronavirus from three infected patients she treated.

Ms Morris said she did not know if her symptoms were coronavirus because she did not have some of the more common signs such as a fever.

“I just couldn’t risk having coronavirus and potentially spreading it to sick vulnerable people, so I called in sick and went and got a swab done that afternoon,” she said.

When the test confirmed that Ms Morris had COVID-19, she wanted to make sure her husband Darren Hind, their elderly parents, their five children and five grandchildren, and indeed anyone else, would not be infected.

Mr Hind tested negative, so the couple self-isolated separately in their Rockingham home.

“It was 17 days. I had the front half of the house and Darren had the back half, which included the kitchen and the laundry so he had to do all the washing and cooking and cleaning,” Ms Morris said.

It was 17 days. I had the front half of the house and Darren had the back half, which included the kitchen and the laundry so he had to do all the washing and cooking and cleaning

“We were home where we could still see each other. We could still talk and even though we couldn’t have any physical contact, we were still in the same house.

“I really only had one day where I was probably concerned enough to consider going to hospital but I didn’t end up going.”

Ms Morris is one of thousands of nurses to be nominated in Crown Perth and The West Australian’s Healthcare Heroes campaign.

The $250,000 initiative was launched to thank all nurses for their extraordinary work.

RPH nurse Kelly Morris.
Camera IconRPH nurse Kelly Morris. Credit: Daniel Wilkins/The Sunday Times

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

Ms Morris has worked at RPH ED for five years and was previously a nurse in the Australian Army.

“We’re just blessed with awesome doctors and awesome nurses,” she said. “You’re incredibly supported throughout your entire shift.

“We do see some really awful things happen but we’re also very privileged to be able to help people survive and overcome some horrific things.”

Ms Morris said it was lovely to be nominated and people had shown a lot of kindness and support towards nurses during the pandemic.

To nominate a nurse, explain in 100 words or less why she or he deserves the treat. Today is the final day that nominations can be entered at crownperth.com.au/healthcareheroes

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