A dressmaker from Garston, who was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer in November, kept herself busy while self-isolating during the pandemic by making scrubs for Watford General Hospital.
Victoria Gilbert-Kuklys, on top of fighting her own battle,made sure to use her skills to the fullest and do her bit to help the wider society during the coronavirus outbreak.
Her sister Natalie Turner said: “When she saw an advert for volunteers to help make scrubs for the local services she didn’t think twice but to offer her services.
“So, in the dark and long nights when the chemo played havoc with her sleep pattern she would sit in her office and spend hours tirelessly making scrubs to help protect our frontline workers who, in turn, are helping to protect people like her.”
In March Vicky received a letter from the hospital saying that she needed to isolate for her own protection. She then had to make the difficult decision to leave her husband and three children to isolate with her mum and dad.
From this point on, her cancer journey would change beyond how she ever would have imagined.
Natalie continued: “Her first two sessions of chemo were fine because it was before the coronavirus outbreak, her husband went with her but as soon as this happened she wasn’t allowed to take anyone with her.
“She had to attend all her appointments alone, including her chemo, and oncologist with her husband joining via video link. She received the news that her chemo treatment had been successful, but then faced the uncertainty of whether her surgery would take place and where this would be.
“When she did eventually have her surgery, she, again, had to face this completely alone. She had contact with our mum and dad who were also isolating with her but my sister Caroline and I couldn’t go visit her as we are both key workers and posed too much of a risk. She was only able to see her children through the garden gate. None of it turned out the way we thought.”
Victoria faced her battle with a very positive attitude, when asked by her sister how she was feeling she always replied, often with a tear in her eye, that in the bigger picture there are people that are in a worse position than she is in.
Natalie, expressing how proud she is of her sister said: “The kind of person she is she will always try to help when she can. Despite having only just received and not fully digested the news, she spent Christmas Day cooking 50 Christmas dinners and spent Boxing Day hand delivering them to Watford’s homeless community.
“She is so brave and courageous and she makes us, as a family, so proud every single day.”