Bereaved husband donates Alan Stuttle Covid-19 painting to Whittington ICU

Alan Stuttle's painting of Covid-19 ICU nurses

Alan Stuttle's painting of Covid-19 ICU nurses - Credit: Whittington Hospital

A bereaved husband has donated a painting to Whittington's intensive care unit, to thank staff for the care they gave to his wife before she died of Covid-19.

Ann Grice caught the virus when she travelled from her home in Scarborough to Finchley to help her brother who had suffered a fall in January.

Ann who was born in Corbin Street off Stroud Green Road, died aged 67 on February 13, after 19 days in intensive care on a mechanical ventilator.

Allan and Ann Grice on a visit to Buckingham Palace

Allan and Ann Grice on a visit to Buckingham Palace - Credit: Allan Grice

While Ann was in hospital her husband of 35 years, Allan, saw the picture he has now donated to the Archway hospital in the window of esteemed artist Alan Stuttle's art gallery, opposite his home.

Mr Grice told the Gazette: "Alan paints very topical pictures as well as landscapes, and amazingly as I was waiting and hoping each day that Ann would survive, he painted a lovely evocative picture of a group of Covid-19 nurses in uniform giving a thumbs up.

"It's so strikingly evocative, and I bought it not knowing that in a few weeks time in spite of their valiant efforts while Ann was on a ventilator that she would die.

"The reason the painting resonates with me is I spent 31 years in the fire rescue service as a life saver myself," added Mr Grice who has written a book, Call the Fire Brigade!, about his time as a fireman in London in the '70s.

Allan Grice during his days as a fire fighter

Allan Grice during his days as a fire fighter - Credit: Allan Grice

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He was stationed in Kentish Town and Shoreditch in the days when neither workplace health-and-safety legislation existed nor breathing apparatus.

"The painting has been given a home outside of the ICU, and as well as being a memorial to Ann, it's to say thank you," he said.

"The staff tried to save Ann valiantly, along with all the other patients who pass through ICU, and the human interest of Alan Stuttle's wonderful painting reflects their wonderful work.

"Those staff doing end of life care who saw so many die have had so much trauma, and I believe the painting will help them to get closure themselves.

"When Ann was in the ICU the nurses kept a patient diary and when I come to collect her belongings, I've been advised it would be good for my closure to have a copy of the diaries on how the nurses said she was responding. 

"It will help me to deal with this untimely death. She was 67 and looked 20 years younger and it is a tragedy, along with 120,000 other people who have also lost their lives."