Our amazing pharmacy colleague Kerry Boden has put her married life on hold and moved into a camper van to protect her husband and his vulnerable family and help customers get their much-needed medication at our Donnington Wood store.
Kerry got married to bus driver Keiran Jackson in early March – only six days before her dad Martin sadly passed away from cancer. Then soon after the coronavirus lockdown began.
Kerry, who's 23 and has worked for Asda since 2014, said: "We found out last October that my dad had cancer so we decided to get married so he could be there with us. He passed away six days afterwards. We were really lucky in one sense and unfortunate in another.
"I had a couple of weeks off work for bereavement and then the lockdown was introduced. I made the decision then to leave our home in Trench because my husband had pneumonia in August last year and was in hospital for a week and on antibiotics for a good couple of months after.
"We also live with his grandad, Graham, who's 81, and has some health issues, and his mum Diane, 61, who's disabled. With me being a keyworker I did not want to put him or the family at any risk.
"People have said to me 'Oh you can just go home, everything will be okay if you go home'. But I know that I have to protect them and my husband as much as I can for our future."
Kerry's also keeping a close eye on her mum Elaine, so has parked her VW Transporter camper van outside the boat Elaine lives on 40 miles away in Cheshire and is travelling there every day after work so she can be near to her.
She said: "I'm there for my mum as well. After losing my dad, I'm looking out for her from a distance as I can't be in the boat with her.
"With it just being me the van's quite nice as it's small and compact. I have a little stove which I cook on outside and I've got my iPad so I watch films and stuff at night. It really is just to sleep in. Keiran and I got the van last year and it's been the saving grace really – somewhere for me to go.
"My colleagues think I'm a little bit crazy, but they are very supportive of me and my manager's been brilliant about everything. I love my work in the pharmacy and I always give it my all. I've been doing it for a year now and I'm just finishing my first course and starting my second one so I'm really excited about how's the future's going."
Once a week after work, Kerry has been doing the shopping for Keiran and his family and delivering it to the house.
Kerry began dating Keiran, who's 24, five years ago. She said: "It's been really hard – it's not been the ideal start to married life. We are always talking on the phone and texting – but seeing each other from a distance is just not the same. I can't wait for it to be all over so we can get back to some sort of normality.
"Keiran's finding it hard too as we are very outdoorsy people. We like to walk and go cycling. We never got to have a honeymoon. We were booked to go away in South Wales at the end of March, but they shut all the campsites so that's on hold. It's my birthday in October so we will see what it's like then."
Our Donnington Wood store's manager John Perry has nominated Kerry for an Asda award and says her sacrifices are inspirational.
He said: "She's an absolute credit to our store and we are all proud of her. When I heard about what she is doing, I thought 'wow'. It's phenomenal really what she is putting herself through just to be able to come to work to serve the general public with the medication and drugs they need.
"She is selflessly staying away from her new husband and not putting her whole family at risk which shows that not all heroes wear capes!"
The store's community champion June Walker says colleagues are all so proud of Kerry.
She said: "I think Kerry putting her newly married life on hold and distancing herself from her family to protect them so that she can continue to help customers at Asda get their much-needed medication is truly amazing."