There was nothing ordinary about the way Cheryl Poon showed her gratitude for the care she received after being hospitalised at the Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH) with COVID-19 earlier this year.
Cheryl, the Asia and Australasia Director of DECIEM – whose umbrella of brands include NIOD, Hylamide, and The Ordinary - was struck down with COVID-19 in February 2021.
The 36-year-old spent two weeks at the RMH. Early on Cheryl says she suffered from flu-like symptoms, but on day eight her condition deteriorated and doctors advised her to go to the hospital.
She was one of four members of her family to catch the virus after attending a function in Coburg.
Cheryl says her husband was the first to test positive, at which point she was tested daily until a positive result showed up. The family used the RMH’s hospital in the home program while they isolated at home.
Six months later, Cheryl is still regularly attending the RMH’s post-COVID Respiratory Clinic.
“COVID is still part of me,” says Cheryl.
Cheryl’s 14-month-old daughter stayed with her mother for six weeks while she recovered from COVID, and it was a scary and stressful time for the whole family, she says.
But her experience also opened her eyes to the risk for healthcare workers, both for contracting the virus themselves, as well as potentially bringing it home to their families.
They are “undervalued by the community”, and Cheryl was keen to show her appreciation, in particular to those who took care of her during her illness on Level 9 East. “I always felt looked after while at the RMH,” she says.
There was surplus stock arriving from Canada, and Cheryl suggested the company donated products to the healthcare workers as a thank you for their hard work.
“I am extremely grateful for the support I received from the entire care team”, she says.
“I have had such a great experience with RMH when dealing with COVID.”