A single mum working on the NHS frontline during the coronavirus pandemic has finally been reunited with her two daughters after nine weeks.
A heartwarming video showed the moment Suzanne Vaughan, 43, saw her children again after making the difficult decision to separate from them because of the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Her daughters Bella, nine, and Hettie, seven, who were staying with their aunt Charlotte in Peterborough got the shock of their lives when their mum surprised them on Sunday.
A video showed Vaughan creeping up behind them, and the three then shared a cuddle for the first time in months.
Vaughan, from Kings Lynn, Norfolk, made the difficult decision to separate from her two girls while she worked in a hospital operating theatre and ICU during the COVID-19 peak.
But after over two gruelling months working round the clock, she asked to reduce her shifts so she could be reunited with her girls.
Vaughan said: “Leaving them was very emotional as I didn’t know how long it would be until I saw them again – I never expected it to be nine weeks.
“But so many others have made the same sacrifices because we want to help people and fight this virus.”
She added: “I put work first for nine weeks, but I think now it was time I put my girls first.”
Vaughan, who normally works 28 hours a week, offered to work over 50 hours a week at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Norfolk in order to help with the national effort against the virus.
The single mum said she FaceTimed her daughters each day through the period and that they never let her wake up for a shift without a good-morning text.
Vaughan said she planned to bring the girls back home about a week before the surprise, but had to keep it a secret because she didn’t want to disappoint them if anything changed.
She added: “We haven’t stopped cuddling for a minute since I’ve been back.”
Daughter Hettie said: “I’m so happy to be back home.
“It makes me happy because I missed Mummy the most. And then [pet dog] Lotty.”
Bella added: “I think the NHS are really great people trying to save the world.
“Mummy did a brilliant job. She had to be away to save people.
“She’s my hero.”
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