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West Suffolk Hospital community nurse Roxie thanks 'angel' who helped pay for shopping




When Roxie Walsh was having trouble paying for some petrol and food with the app on her phone, she went into a panic.

Embarrassed as a queue formed behind her at the M&S Simply Food service station on Rougham Road, Bury St Edmunds , she stepped away from the till.

“I have used the Google Pay app many times but it just wouldn’t work,” said Roxie, 27, a community care nurse for West Suffolk Hospital, who lives in Stowmarket.

Roxie Walsh, right, later handed Emi Tillett some flowers to say ‘thank you’. Picture by Mark Westley
Roxie Walsh, right, later handed Emi Tillett some flowers to say ‘thank you’. Picture by Mark Westley

“It was the end of a shift about 6.30pm last week, I was tired, and I went outside to phone my mum. She was givingme her card details to enter into the app, when a lady came out and said: “Don’t worry about it love. It’s all paid for”. Then she walked off.”

Roxie, who has been a nurse for a year chased after the stranger who had just paid £30 for her petrol, a steak and some custard tarts.

“I shouted: Can pay you back? I just heard the words: “critical care nurse” and: “Really, it’s fine”.

Emi texted Roxie later that night after being tagged on Facebook. Image: Roxie Walsh.
Emi texted Roxie later that night after being tagged on Facebook. Image: Roxie Walsh.

Touched by the gesture, that night Roxie told the story on her Facebook page and asked if anyone knew who the kind-hearted stranger might be. Immediately she began receiving comments such as: ‘That sounds like Emi Tillett’, who they tagged in the post.

“A message popped up from Emi saying she had seen the post, it was no problem and she hoped I enjoyed the steak. I couldn’t thank her enough and asked if I could transfer the money to her.

“She messaged: It was a gift. Good things happen to good people. I am glad I was able to help you. “You’re very welcome and community nurses are very much unsung heroes, so it’s my way of paying it forward. Glad to help”.

“It has been tough working through Covid andI just replied: Thank you. You are an angel.”

Mum-of-three Emi Tillett, 47, from Red Lodge, has worked has worked for the NHS for six years, three of those at West Suffolk Hospital .

She said: “I saw she was a ‘bluey’ and knew that would be the last thing she needed at the end of a shift. I also knew she was a community nurse and they are under huge pressure.

“I was a critical care nurse until the start of the pandemic but I suffer from bad asthma, which put me in a coma a couple of years ago, and I haven’t been able to work on the front line, face-to-face.

“All I have been able to do is send messages of support to my friends to support them with their mental health, stress and fatique. It was a pleasure to help Roxie.”

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