NHS hero Lindsay Sargeant had an emotional reunion with her son after nearly two months of being apart ­— so she could carry on working without fear of bringing coronavirus home to her family.

Lindsay, a neonatal ward clerk at the Royal Bolton Hospital, made the heart-wrenching decision to send 11-year-old Levi to live with her mum, who was on furlough­, at the height of the pandemic.

It meant mum and son were apart for seven weeks.

“It was horrendous, it was heart-breaking,” said Lindsay, “I slept better knowing when I was coming home from work that I wasn’t bringing anything home, I wasn’t going to hurt Levi, I wasn’t going to hurt my mum.

“A lot of people had the difficult decision over whether to come to work or stay at home, but I think sometimes when you are in this business, when you are in with the NHS, you have got to play your part.

“You feel like you want to play your part, so I did my bit, that’s how I looked at it.”

When lockdown rules were relaxed, Lindsay was able to reunite with her 11-year-old son ­— and to thank him for the sacrifice he made.

Hospital bosses also wrote to Levi to thank him for understanding why his mum had to be gone for so long.

She said: "Oh I cried my eyes out. I am more proud of Levi for handling the situation and dealing with it and understanding why. I think that was really big. What the hospital did was really nice.

“Lynne Barnes (a director at the hospital) wrote a letter thanking Levi personally for doing what he did, making that sacrifice. They also did a little card off her for him, saying thank-you. Little touches like that, it makes a difference when he has recognised. It was hard for me, but it was also hard for that little boy, so it was nice that he got that recognition.”

Lindsay said while she was living alone she was especially thankful for the support of her work ‘family’.

She said: “I really do feel like it is my second family. It is like a family unit and we are all very supportive of one another. When somebody is having a bad day you pick them up."

She added:"With the neonatal unit we just had to be really vigilant with it. At first we had one parent in one day, so if mum came on one day then dad couldn’t come.

“If you left the hospital you weren’t allowed back on the unit – it was as simple as that.

“As lockdown has been released, just in the last few weeks, mum and dad are allowed to come together, but the rule still stands, if you leave the hospital you have not to come back on the unit until the next day.”