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Claire Leech

Claire was assigned the story Loved Back To Life.

You can listen to her poem below, or scroll down to read it.

Claire Leech | Instagram

Loved Back To Life 


Working hard training to be a medic 

Seeing friends and loving life, exams passed  

Excitement building, ready to learn in the real world  


Then life’s course hits pause 

A pandemic pulls the rug from under my feet 

Disappointment nearing devastation, a clinical placement cancelled 


On the verge of volunteering, I struggle to stand for more than a minute 

Breath eludes me and my heart beats deathly rhythms 

Sorting the sheets, I realise something is very wrong 


An ambulance awaits me and from here on memories are missing 

Wheeled through a corridor of masked hospital staff 

I remember fear in their eyes at a young life slipping 


When first I face my fate, a doctor risks the worst 

Holds my hand and strokes my forehead 

Explains that I will go straight into respiratory treatment 


Here drips prevent me from passing 

Tubefuls of life taken constantly 

Bringing me back along a pathway to future health 


A blue curtain hangs thickly  

Cutting off my thoughts and contact with family and friends 

Energy evaporated, sleep surrounds me 


Heavy head on a hospital pillow and pain amid the white walls 

I am unable to speak or phone home 

My concentration and mental capacity have gone 


I see rules and risks detaching me from family  

Recognise I cannot respond to their concerns 

Playing it all forwards, I choose that my status stays secret  


While recovering on the ward, I try revising 

More anxious to take an exam than admit defeat 

Feeling better, I free myself from surveillance and head home 


Seated in bed but still studying, I take the test  

Will wins out between tears and exhaustion  

While a nurse calls by to check my condition  


But by forging ahead with my life’s plan  

I have stretched myself thin and relapse into lethargy 

Blue-lighted in for the second time, I am placed again as a patient 


Friends don’t know I have been here 

But wanting so badly to get home I say I have help 

I don’t need anything from anybody, a lie spotted a mile away 


Reminded that I’m very important to myself  

I agree to reach for assistance 

A message received within minutes has me crying  


I hate to ask for help for myself 

But a stranger gives me the strength not to feel ashamed 

Pressing me forward into future life on leaving this place 


The group supporting me becomes a real godsend  

Connecting, listening and collecting my medicine  

Filling my stomach and making sure I’m okay 


Gestures of kindness regain my strength  

I feel safe, held and not judged at all 

Slowly, with each steppingstone, I get stronger 


Doing small things like making myself soup  

Sitting in the shower strong enough now not to fall through glass 

My recovery continues and I will never forget it 


Looking back, I see I was a broken bird 

Presented with an opportunity to put myself first 

The enormous impact of being loved back to life gives me shivers 


Reflecting on my journey I see a past battle almost won  

Parcels of provisions found me losing control but learning to live 

Asking others to make food for me a first footstep 


Returning to Covid-19 but on the other side 

Working with those who saved me  

I will say thank you and give back what has been given  


A whole new crazy, amazing adventure 



Claire Leech, 2020 

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