A SUPPORT worker has been praised for saving her client’s life by staying with her in hospital to help her fight Covid-19.

Rhiannon Norris, who has profound learning disabilities, had to spend seven nights in hospital after showing symptoms of the virus.

Her carer Sam Faulkner went with her in the ambulance and decided to stay with her, sleeping on a mattress alongside Rhiannon’s bed.

Keighley woman Rhiannon’s family credit Sam with saving her life because she took on much of the essential care in hospital as well as providing emotional support.

For much of the time Sam held Rhiannon’s oxygen mask in place because she was too scared to wear it on her own.

Karen’s sister Jennifer and mother Angela have given “massive thanks” to Sam and the rest of Affinity Trust’s dedicated support team.

Jennifer said: “Sam is like a sister to Rhiannon, and has become one of our extended family from the kindness and compassion she shows my sister daily.”

Rhiannon lives in one of Affinity’s flats in Springfield Mills, Oakworth Road, where Sam is part of a team providing round-the-clock care for residents with complex needs.

Sam’s manager Karen Foulger said that one night when Sam was on duty she realised Rhiannon was hot and vomiting.

Karen said: “Rhiannon was very fearful, she couldn’t understand about Covid. The paramedics had full hazmat suits and she was scared, but the crew were really patient with her.”

Sam accompanied Rhiannon to hospital to help keep her calm, despite the dangers of entering a Covid-19 environment, and she decided she needed to stay.

Karen said: “It was a massive sacrifice, well above what you would expect. Sam slept on the floor for couple of days, then staff gave her a mattress and put them in a side room.

“Sam kept the oxygen mask on Rhiannon, laying at the side of the bed for hours holding the mask on. She was exhausted.”

Once Rhiannon was able to return home, Sam continued to isolate with her until two weeks had passed, keeping contact with her own family remotely.

Karen added: “Much of what we do, we consider as our job and we often don’t recognise the impact that great staff can have on families. It’s really rewarding to be able to recognise something special like this.”

Sam began working for Affinity Trust two years ago. The Trust has been working in the Airedale and Bradford area since 1997, provided supported living and outreach services.