Kate Middleton praises dedication of ward host during call for Hold Still photography contest – Daily Mail

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The Duchess of Cambridge has praised the ‘dedication’ of a hospital cook during a phone call with the participant in her Hold Still photography contest after she refused to take time off work when her mother fell ill. 

On the day her entry photograph was taken, Gimba, a ward host at Whipps Cross Hospital in Leytonstone, received the terrible news from Nigeria that her mother had fallen ill.

Despite being heartbroken that she couldn’t fly home due to travel restrictions during the pandemic, Gimba declined to take any time off, saying: ‘I have to feed my patients.’

She was photographed on that same day having her lunch after preparing meals for all eighteen COVID-19 patients in the ward.

During a clip shared to YouTube today, Kate Middleton, 39, said: ‘It’s such a pleasure to chat to you too. I wanted to call to say thank you so much for sending in your wonderful photograph. It’s fantastic! You look like you’re seriously enjoying your chicken and rice, Gimba?’

The Duchess of Cambridge (pictured), 39, praised the 'dedication' of hospital ward host Gimba, who works at Whipps Cross Hospital in Leytonstone, during a phone call with the participant in her Hold Still photography contest who refused to take time off when her mother fell ill

The Duchess of Cambridge (pictured), 39, praised the 'dedication' of hospital ward host Gimba, who works at Whipps Cross Hospital in Leytonstone, during a phone call with the participant in her Hold Still photography contest who refused to take time off when her mother fell ill

The Duchess of Cambridge (pictured), 39, praised the ‘dedication’ of hospital ward host Gimba, who works at Whipps Cross Hospital in Leytonstone, during a phone call with the participant in her Hold Still photography contest who refused to take time off when her mother fell ill

On the day the photograph was taken, Gimba, a ward host at Whipps Cross Hospital, received the terrible news from Nigeria that her mother had fallen ill. Pictured, tucking into her chicken and rise lunch

On the day the photograph was taken, Gimba, a ward host at Whipps Cross Hospital, received the terrible news from Nigeria that her mother had fallen ill. Pictured, tucking into her chicken and rise lunch

On the day the photograph was taken, Gimba, a ward host at Whipps Cross Hospital, received the terrible news from Nigeria that her mother had fallen ill. Pictured, tucking into her chicken and rise lunch

Despite being heartbroken that she couldn't fly home to see her mother (pictured) due to travel restrictions during the pandemic, Gimba declined to take any time off, saying: 'I have to feed my patients'

Despite being heartbroken that she couldn't fly home to see her mother (pictured) due to travel restrictions during the pandemic, Gimba declined to take any time off, saying: 'I have to feed my patients'

Despite being heartbroken that she couldn’t fly home to see her mother (pictured) due to travel restrictions during the pandemic, Gimba declined to take any time off, saying: ‘I have to feed my patients’

Gimba replied: ‘Yeah, I was having my break, yeah.’

Kate, who is a keen amateur photographer, launched the Hold Still initiative during lockdown and asked the public to submit their images which captured the period for a digital exhibition.

She was then joined by a panel of five judges to select the best photos from more than 31,000 submitted for the nation-wide contest and said she was ‘overwhelmed’ by the response and that it was ‘so hard’ to whittle the images down to a top 100.

During the five-minute call, the royal went on to say that while every day on the ward is a busy one for the staff, it was a particularly hard day for Gimba. 

‘Yeah, yeah, that day because I had a phone call in Africa because I’m from Nigeria, and my mother was not very well and was very sick,’ she explained. 

When the royal asked how she was doing now, Gimba replied: ‘She’s feeling better now yeah. She’s at home now.’

Kate (pictured) thanked Gimba for sending in her 'wonderful' photograph, and went on to brand it 'fantastic'

Kate (pictured) thanked Gimba for sending in her 'wonderful' photograph, and went on to brand it 'fantastic'

Kate (pictured) thanked Gimba for sending in her ‘wonderful’ photograph, and went on to brand it ‘fantastic’

Gimba (pictured), who will have been at the hospital for twenty years next March, said how she likes to rustle up everything from Chinese and Carribean to English food

Gimba (pictured), who will have been at the hospital for twenty years next March, said how she likes to rustle up everything from Chinese and Carribean to English food

Gimba (pictured), who will have been at the hospital for twenty years next March, said how she likes to rustle up everything from Chinese and Carribean to English food 

Explaining how it was tough not being able to be there with her, she added: ‘It was hard, but it’s a job I love to do because the patients need us.’

Kate went on to say how she bet Gimba made everybody’s day that ‘little bit brighter.’ 

Gimba, who will have been at the hospital for twenty years next March, said how she likes to rustle up everything from Chinese and Carribean to English food.

Kate added: ‘Well, food nurtures the soul, doesn’t it?’

Then duchess also asked whether her friend Hasaan told her whether he was going to send in the photograph, to which Gimba responded: ‘He told me that they selected my picture and you love my picture. They called me, told me, so I was so happy. I’m very grateful, thank you so much, yeah.’

When the duchess also asked whether Gimba's friend Hasaan (pictured) told her whether he was going to send in the photograph, she replied: 'He told me that they selected my picture and you love my picture. They called me, told me, so I was so happy'

When the duchess also asked whether Gimba's friend Hasaan (pictured) told her whether he was going to send in the photograph, she replied: 'He told me that they selected my picture and you love my picture. They called me, told me, so I was so happy'

When the duchess also asked whether Gimba’s friend Hasaan (pictured) told her whether he was going to send in the photograph, she replied: ‘He told me that they selected my picture and you love my picture. They called me, told me, so I was so happy’

Kate continued: ‘It’s lovely to see the resilience and that glimmer of hope that you showed, the sort of enjoyment of the simple things because I think we all sort of really hunkered down and really relished in the simple pleasures.

And I love the gentle smile on your face despite it being a really hard day for you and how much, obviously, you’re enjoying your lunch.’

‘We’re all so proud of you and your colleagues too, you know? You showed sort of the total dedication to the patients that you cared for. And even in times of hardship, you’re still there and not wanting to let those patients down.

‘So you should be very proud of the amazing work that you do on a day-to-day basis. And thank you for sharing your photograph as well. It really, really made everybody smile, so thank you.’

Gimba added: ‘Thank you for loving my photograph. I’m so excited, I sad “Wow, me!”

 

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