“I think I’ve been well and truly set up here!”
Andy Murray and Manchester United football star Marcus Rashford recently teamed up on Zoom to surprise Debbie Thorberg, a community nurse from Scotland who works the night shift with the out-of-hours district nursing service. Thorberg joined what she thought was a Zoom call to discuss tennis with ATP staff, but was surprised to find Murray and Rashford thanking the nurse for her work as part of episode six of Tennis United.
The former World No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Rankings may not have been her first choice for a dream Zoom call, though. Murray said he “was told you’re a big a Rafael Nadal fan” and she admitted to closely following the Spaniard.
“I’m so sorry. My husband does like you,” Thorberg said, laughing. “I love to watch you too, but I’m afraid it’s always been Rafa for me and it always will be.”
Thorberg also discussed the important and challenging work she’s currently engaged in during the pandemic. The United Kingdom has more than 236,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 33,998 related deaths as of 15 May, according to the BBC.
“We’re really busy at the moment because we’re going into care homes with a lot of, unfortunately, COVID-19 patients who are terminally ill and at the end of their lives,” Thorberg said. “It’s quite harrowing. At the moment, it’s really difficult.
“Our workload has quadrupled… A lot of care homes at the moment are stretched. They’re understaffed. Sometimes before coronavirus, if a patient was dying and the family couldn’t get in or they didn’t have a family, we’d have a care nurse sit with them. That’s just not possible at the moment. These people are basically dying alone. It’s very hard to be a part of that and very hard to watch.”
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Thorberg is an avid tennis fan and has watched her idol Nadal in action at the Fever-Tree Championships. She’s also attended Wimbledon three times, most recently in 2018 as a surprise for her husband’s 60th birthday. He didn’t get the chance to see Murray play, but the couple took in one of Roger Federer’s matches.
“That’s probably better!” Murray joked.