An ICU nurse at St Bartholomew’s Hospital has become the subject of a piece of art after she was nominated by a patient’s relative, who turned out to be an old friend.
Geri Salmons, a sister who works at the hospital’s acute coronary care unit, was put forward for the Portrait for Heroes project as a thank you for treating Carol Silverman’s husband, Brian, following cardiac surgery 18 months ago.
After being reunited, the two friends have remained in touch ever since.
Geri said, “We were friends before, but had lost touch.
“We were reunited at Brian’s bedside when he came out of surgery.
“It’s funny how life works – now we talk everyday.”
Carol said, “I went to visit my husband at the hospital last October, who had a heart bypass, and I noticed a nurse who walked behind me to speak to the doctor.
“I knew that voice – I turned around and said ‘Hi Geri, how are you?’
“We had been speaking a lot during the lockdown and she told me how challenging the pandemic has been. I wanted to pay tribute to her.”
The artist who painted her, Alison Potter, works for Health Education England and has returned to art during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The #portraitsfornhsheroes initiative was started by Tom Croft, a portrait painter in Oxford.
Artists from London and further afield have been sketching, drawing and painting portraits of NHS workers to pay tribute to them and give something back during the coronavirus pandemic.
Carol said, “I chose Alison because I knew she would do a great job. I’m so pleased she kept the character in Geri’s face.”
Geri added, “I have the portrait and I’m going to frame it and give it to my Mum, who hasn’t seen me for weeks under the lockdown.”
You can find out more about the Portrait for Heroes initiative via MyLondon.
Picture credit: Alison Potter.