Thank you NHS. Thank you Sergi. Thank you Jan.

22 Mar

What can you say? Yesterday we should have been watching Brentford play Reading in an out of town car park. The most soul destroying of trips to somewhere that looks, as the crow flies, so close yet in reality is a trip that would test even Bear Grylls. The sort of thing we’d take an almost masochistic pleasure in moaning about yet, right now, I’d give my right arm to be in a position to be upset about having made the shlep to the Madjeski. The realisation of just how much we take for granted is hitting home with all the subtly of Ian Moose at a buffet. Should such a thing still exist. Buffets, I mean. Football is over for the foreseeable. Life is all about staying sane and staying healthy. Thoughts of Griffin Park and the last game with Barnsley nothing more than an optimistic light on the horizon. 

Yet optimism is what we need right now. With the news making for such hard going it would be easy to sink into despondency. I’m not going to pretend I haven’t had low points in the last week or so. I’m sure I can’t be alone and I am sure there will be more to come. With self-isolation becoming more and more prevalent – whether enforced or voluntary – even walking past Griffin Park yesterday morning on an almost clandestine trip to the shop felt like a guilty pleasure.

Moreso given how hard those people on the front line are working to keep things going. Food and drink should be available (as long as people don’t act like dicks in the supermarket) and our NHS staff are busting an absolute gut, despite being in the very forefront of what is impacting us all.


Griffin Park is understandably on lockdown

The trip back from the shop was punctuated by a call from Mrs. Bruzon. Where was I? Harry had suffered a horrific fall and smacked his head open!!! Blood everywhere and losing consciousness. My heart stopped. Panic set in – and as much because I had to start running to get the last mile back to them. It wasn’t a pretty sight on arrival (but enough about my knackered lungs). Blood everywhere, H looking grey and not even crying. Just slumped lethargically against mummy who was heading off to the hospital.

The short hop to West Mid was not a good one. I have to be honest I’ve not been so scared in a long, long time. Sat in the back with Harry, he was barely coherent. Barely awake. I did my best to keep him talking. Asking silly questions about Brentford. The answers made no sense. Dalsgaard isn’t a centre back. Ollie Watkins has scored more than 16 goals. This was not a good sign. At least he recognised that Sergi Canos is his favourite player.

All I could do was promise that if he kept talking to me and then did everything the doctors and nurses asked, I’d give him the one shirt from my collection he’s had his eye on to go in his bedroom – Jan Zamburek’s Ecoworld blue ‘Farewell Griffin Park’ shirt (don’t ask ; that’s a story for another day).

We reached the hospital in a hurry. Thankfully, people seem to finally be taking the advice to stay indoors seriously and traffic was at a minimum. Scooping him from the back seat, I ran in with H in my arms. Heart pumping – but , again, as much through lack of fitness as panic. Here we go…..

Wow! The NHS staff were amazing. Incredible. Moved so quickly. Got him in, cleaned up, assessed, treated and slowly the colour returned to his cheeks. The shock he had suffered worn off. The huge gouge above his eye now sealed up and sure to leave a proper ‘Action Man’ style scar. With all the carnage going on in the outside world and the incredible pressure / stress they must be under at present, to see how calm and caring they were was nothing short of life affirming. Huge love and huge thanks from me and Mrs B, that’s for sure! 

Harry is now fine. He is home. His composure returned and Zamburek’s shirt is hanging in his room, alongside what I think is Gary Blissett’s 92-93 ‘away’ (again, don’t ask). I’ll say one thing for H, he does have good taste. 


H now has a new favourite shirt

We’re all sitting around in self-isolation – wondering how to get through the coming weeks but knowing that we will. Knowing that thanks to those wonderful people in the NHS, a personal nightmare has been avoided. Things are likely going to get very tough for while. They’ll be the ones out there looking after us. You only need to look at the news to see how things have played out in other countries. To see how irresponsible some people have still been as recently as Friday night, having ‘one last hurrah for the road’ before pubs shut down.

I don’t want to go all holier than thou because I’m not. But having seen health workers in action first hand, the last thing we need to do is pile any more pressure on them. The last thing we want is them, or anyone, going hungry. Do think before you hit ‘stockpile’ mode or go walkabout. It might not be much fun compared to our usual freedoms (although the alternatives are 10 times worse, to coin a phrase).

If for no other reason that aside from going stir crazy, many of us need to double up as teachers. Cripes!!  If the NHS, supermarket workers and all those others whom we have, let’s be honest, probably taken for complete granted over the years deserve respect than I am sure this will be equally applicable to those who keep the schools running. Me and H have already had our first science class – making bouncy eyeballs (well, he was worried he may need a replacement). 


It is also a time that is bringing out the best in people. Neighbours are suddenly looking out for each other. Strangers doing good deeds. Streets and communities coming together to try and help each other through these unprecedented times. We have warmth. We have the internet. We have a lot of TV and board-game time coming up. Hopefully we all have food.

But I also know we will get through this. Stop. Think. Look out for your friends. Your neighbours. Each other. Pick up the phone. Send a text message to somebody who might not be expecting it. Let’s stay talking to each other. This is the chance for Social Media to be an amazing power for good rather than the hotbed of vitriol and nastiness it can so often be.

Just reading the words of Sergi Canos yesterday put a huge smile on my face.  There may be no football at present but it’s probably the least of our concerns in the immediate grand scheme. Let’s keep on remembering the good times and look forward to them returning at some point.

Nick Bruzon


9 Responses to “Thank you NHS. Thank you Sergi. Thank you Jan.”

  1. Roger Greenaway ( sheffbee) March 22, 2020 at 2:11 pm #

    Hi Nick…. just read your latest post and I am really glad that Harry is OK . As you say it has brought home the reality of our situation and put into perspective the real priorities in our lives. Much as I miss football it is now apparent that it really is ” not more important than life and death “. Having said all that I had forgotten how boring Down Hill skiing is ! All the best to you and your family Nick, Stay safe.

    • nickbruzon March 22, 2020 at 2:29 pm #

      Thank you so much. And to you. Be careful. Be good

  2. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) March 22, 2020 at 4:38 pm #

    So pleased to hear Harry is OK. Must admit i did think about you all yesterday and how you must be coping keeping H entertained.

    I concur with the sentiments exactly, stay indoors if you can. No matter how nice as it was today i resisted the urge to go out. These are going to be some very difficult months and we will need to support each other as much as we can.

    • nickbruzon March 22, 2020 at 4:52 pm #

      Oh BQ. Thank you. Every time I read something nice, have to admit I am welling up. This is the most horrific time, and will likely get worse before it gets better, yet the communal camaraderie already on show is nothing short of incredible.
      I hope all is well with you and you can stay safe

  3. Peter Hills March 22, 2020 at 6:06 pm #

    It must have been a scary time for you all. Many of us have experienced that dash to West Mid. In fact that is where I started life 77 years ago! Glad H seems better.

  4. Simon Sapper March 22, 2020 at 6:11 pm #

    Can only concur with everything that’s already been posted. It’s a nightmare moment when you get that sort of call. So so pleased it turned out alright. And it was a powerful piece of writing too IMO. Stay well, stay safe.

  5. Andrew Anderson March 22, 2020 at 6:18 pm #

    Hope Harry is on the mend Nick. Fully agree with your sentiments. People are still acting like dickheads though, so we will get mandatory lockdown sooner rather than later. Stay safe.

    • nickbruzon March 22, 2020 at 8:46 pm #

      Thanks Andrew. And you. H is absolutely mended. People are absolute dicks. Hopefully Boris will just grow a pair and shut it all down. Now.

  6. David Carney March 22, 2020 at 10:00 pm #

    I would like to know why most kids that damage themselves manage to do so at the most inconvenient time or location which then causes the greatest panic for parents.
    Then of course the powers of recovery at a young age are such that instead of impending doom they recover in no time leaving parents even more confused.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: