A Fife paramedic has described the “amazing and emotional” moment he was reunited with his daughter after he chose to live separately to protect his family amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Jamie Brannan said he made the decision on March 27 to keep his wife, Louise, and six-year-old daughter, Jessica, safe.
As restrictions have been eased in Scotland over the last month Jamie, who is based at Perth Ambulance Station, reunited with his daughter on June 10.
The 41-year-old, from Newburgh, said: “When we began attending more and more suspected Covid cases, I decided the best thing to do was separate myself from my family.
“Being reunited with my family was the most amazing feeling. My wife and I have been together for 15 years now, 14 of which we have lived together. So being separated for so long was such a shock to us both.
“But I have to say, and I don’t think my wife will mind me saying, the biggest reward of all was getting that first hug from my daughter.
“Being able to hold her again was amazing and emotional. It felt as though we had been separated for years. Moving out was such a difficult decision but it was also the correct one.
“I’d also like to say I’ve heard many stories from across the service of staff making sacrifices. All with the aim of protecting their loved ones and continuing the amazing work they do every day within the service.”
Two years ago, Louise became very sick with sepsis, which resulted in her slipping into septic shock.
Jamie found her unconscious and, after she was rushed to hospital, he was told she would likely die.
Although she has since recovered, she still has a weakened immune system.
He added: “Thankfully she was strong enough to fight the infection and woke up from an induced coma after 24 hours.
“However, she remains immunosuppressed so, when we began attending more and more suspected Covid cases, I decided the best thing to do was separate myself from my family.”
Jamie said he was in a fortunate position where he had a flat to move into, and added: “The flat is in the same village so I was able to have mostly daily visits when I wasn’t on shift.
“Keeping my distance of course and avoiding all contact. I never entered the house and sometimes, if it was raining, I would have to stand outside and talk from the other side of the window.
“This was by far the hardest aspect of it all – being separated from my family. I remember going to visit for the first time and my daughter ran over to hug me and I had to stop her.
“I can honestly say I’ll never forget the look on her face – one of confusion and sadness. Luckily she grew to understand why I was doing what I was doing and it wasn’t forever.”