The NHS nurse who can't wait to cuddle his children after 12-hour shifts on coronavirus ward

As the nation pays tribute to our frontline health workers, we're looking at some of their individual stories of courage and sacrifice.

Joe Pons Laplana is a Senior Digital Charge Nurse at Sheffield Teaching Hospital and works on the coronavirus ward.

He admits his 12-hour days are tough and says cuddles with his children are now more special than ever.

“Constantly in the back of your mind, every time that you breathe, or you do something, you think ‘am I getting coronavirus?’ Psychologically, it is hard,” he said.

“As soon as I arrive home, I go straight to the shower, because my biggest fear is that I will pass the coronavirus to my family.

“And then finally I can give a big cuddle to my family.”

He added: “You feel quite frustrated at times because you spend 12 hours working so hard on this patient to try and make him stable… and this virus can change the situation of a patient in less than half an hour.

“But also when you see after 12 hours that the patient is better than when you arrived – that’s one of the best feelings in the world.”

Because of Brexit, he said he has felt unwelcome in recent years, but now he is “not a Spanish nurse”, he said.

“I am just a nurse again, and I love that.”

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know