Over Christmas and New Year's, many of our incredible staff at King's dedicate their time working through the festive break to help care for patients. Today, we hear from Maddalena on why she has volunteered to work on Christmas Day.
"This year, like almost every year since I moved to England from Italy, I volunteered to work on Christmas day. I consider my colleagues my second family, and you should spend Christmas Day with your family, right?
"Being surrounded by my workmates makes me feel less homesick, especially during the Christmas holidays when I miss my family the most. On Christmas Day we always bring a lot of food to work and usually do a big lunch on our break, tasting food from all over the world! My lasagna is always a big hit I have to say.
"In the Intensive Care Unit, we look after very sick patients, and our shifts are most likely to be very busy and filled with emergencies so it's difficult to predict how it's going to be on Christmas. But we always find a way to make the day enjoyable; we put Christmas music on, I usually go around the unit singing carols and we make Christmas decorations to hang at bedsides.
"Our patients always receive a little present from King's College Hospital Charity, which are usually some nice toiletries we can wash them with. That seems like a little thing, but that in fact makes such a difference for them, and for their families!
"We also do Secret Santa, which we organise beforehand so we can all open our little present on Christmas Day.
"Sometimes people ask me, "Are you not sad to be in the hospital even on Christmas Day, of all days?"
"I answer that I am lucky enough to be able to share the day with amazing colleagues and friends, I am not the one sick on a hospital bed. I love my job, and I am honoured to be able to be there and care for my patients, even on Christmas Day."