A play therapist at the Royal Hospital for Children is isolating from her own family to care for Glasgow’s sickest kids.

Jacqueline Thomson of Balornock, a play therapist at Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Children, is living apart from her family in a bid to protect the seriously ill children on the wards where she works.

During the current epidemic, Jacqueline has put her own needs aside and taken every precaution to ensure she won’t risk carrying the virus into the hospital.

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Jacqueline, 57, spends her days bringing smiles to Glasgow’s sickest children as they receive treatment in the Haemato-Oncology Unit, previously known as the Schiehallion Ward.

To protect against the potential spread of Covid-19, Jacqueline’s 19-year-old daughter Rebecca moved out at the beginning of lockdown leaving Jacqueline home alone.

The mother-of-four previously lost her husband to sepsis in 2018, but her sister and niece say that despite her personal tragedy she continues to radiate smiles and goodness.

Nicola Doherty of Barlanark, 37, calls her aunt “a born carer and natural empath” and “the epitome of decent.” She added:

“It must be difficult for her to be on her own throughout this period, but she’s the toughest and sturdiest woman I know.

“It doesn’t matter what she’s got going on at home. She’s always so bubbly and she gives 100 percent to these kids.”

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Since lockdown began Jacqueline has barely seen her family, including six grandchildren.

Instead, whilst she’s only meant to be working part time, Jacqueline is dedicating herself to her work and getting two buses there and back.

Meanwhile, visiting has been suspended at all NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde hospitals, so Jacqueline is making every effort to keep things as normal as possible for the children in her care.

61-year-old Maureen Doherty, Jacqueline’s sister, said: “She takes these kids into her heart and treats them as her own.

“It’s more than a job for her – she loves it and lives for it. I’m amazed by her unending patience and kindness.”

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