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City star’s nurse sister knits hearts for isolated palliative care patients

PUBLISHED: 14:01 30 April 2020 | UPDATED: 14:01 30 April 2020

The knitted hearts created by Amber Cantwell. Picture: Amber Cantwell/PA Wire

The knitted hearts created by Amber Cantwell. Picture: Amber Cantwell/PA Wire

A nurse who has knitted hearts for people in palliative care has encouraged others to join her.

The knitted hearts created by Amber Cantwell. Picture: Amber Cantwell/PA WireThe knitted hearts created by Amber Cantwell. Picture: Amber Cantwell/PA Wire

Amber Cantwell, 24, from Dereham, decided to make the hearts after seeing how important skin-to-skin contact can be for patients during their final days.

“Unfortunately because of the nature of the coronavirus, they are deprived of human touch and love from their relatives,” said Miss Cantwell, sister of Norwich City midfielder Todd Cantwell.

“I thought the love hearts would provide comfort during these times and act as a hand to hold, to let them know that although no one is visiting, they are at the front of our minds.”

Miss Cantwell, who is working towards her anaesthetic nursing qualifications while working at the Royal Papworth Hospital in Cambridge, decided to make the hearts while she was self-isolating due to her mother’s coronavirus symptoms.

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She was initially going to send them to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, but was told they cannot accept them at this time.

The hearts, which take around 90 minutes to make, will be posted to palliative care patients in community hospices and care homes instead.

“My hope is to inspire people to be creative during these difficult times and encourage people to do whatever they can for those in need,” Ms Cantwell said.

“Now I’m back at work in a busy cardiothoracic centre, I hope to continue in my free time and I hope other people will join me.”

Ms Cantwell, who also plays football for FA Women’s National Division One South East side Cambridge United WFC, took to Twitter to describe her efforts.

She said: “In between working at Royal Papworth I’ve created some love hearts for patients who are palliative to hold whilst Covid-19 prevents them holding a relative’s hand.

“It’s in your hands to make a better world.”


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