Rod Stewart Sends Surprise $6,000 Gift to Mother-of-Three Recovering from Coronavirus Coma
Rod Stewart surprised student nurse Natasha Jenkins with a check for £5000 ($6000) after hearing about her 22-day COVID coma
"My house phone rang one day, and it was a lady saying, 'I'm calling on behalf of Rod Stewart,'" student nurse Natasha Jenkins, 35, from Barry in South Wales, tells PEOPLE.
"She said, 'I'm from his PR company. He'd like to send you something.'"
Jenkins, who recently spent 22 days in a COVID-19 coma, adds, "I said, 'Sorry, who are you calling on behalf of?' And she said, 'Rod Stewart' so I was like, 'Oh!'
Two days later an envelope dropped onto Jenkins’ doormat.
"It was literally just a photo of himself — he just wrote on the photo — and then it was just a cheque and the envelope. I was like, 'Wow!' I was only expecting a card or something!"
Stewart was moved to send the surprise gift to the student nurse after she posted a video on Facebook showing her meeting up with children Codie, 16, Elise, 12, and Oakley, 6, following five weeks of treatment at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff.
During this time, she spent 22 days on a ventilator, having developed a severe case of COVID-19.
It was, she tells PEOPLE, "very serious a lot of the time."
"My parents were told hour-by-hour," she adds. "I would have an improvement in the morning then by the afternoon the doctors would tell my parents, 'It's declined. She's gone back down.' We basically had to take it hour-by-hour."
"They tried to lower my sedation and then I'd get ill again or agitated," adds Jenkins. "So they had to put the sedation right back up. My oxygen levels were constantly up and down."
Thankfully, Jenkins was able to pull through and transferred to a regular hospital ward to recover. After three days, however, she told her doctors, "I'm going home. I can't cope with this" and returned home to a joyous reception from her children and neighbors — plus gifts, food, flowers, and ‘Get Well Soon’ cards sent from all corners of the UK.
"People have just been so overwhelmingly supportive. It's been amazing," says Jenkins. "I'll hear a knock on my door and there will be presents on my doorstep."
"My children are off school like everyone else's, but their headmaster knocked on the door and left some food on my doorstep. It's been really lovely."
Having only just beaten COVID, Jenkins is too delicate to return to her studies. Thanks to Stewart, however, she at least doesn’t have to worry about paying the rent until she’s ready to pick up her nursing course at the very same hospital she was cared for.
"I finished a four-week work placement there on the Friday, and then the following Sunday I was in the hospital being treated," says Jenkins, who has sent Stewart a card and flowers as a thank you for his amazing surprise.
"It's a horrible, horrible disease,” she adds. “I know a lot of people are getting it and managing it at home but obviously I had a severe case of it."
"The money is just going to be put away until I need it really. There's not too much I can do at the moment but it's just one less worry isn't it, the money issues and everything. It's just so sweet."
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