A FATHER and daughter team on the frontline have had their portraits painted as part of a national campaign.

Kelvin Bollard and Ciara Bollard are both paramedics in the North Wales Ambulance Service.

Kelvin, 59, of Denbigh, has been in the service for more than 20 years.

Ciara, 30, who tested positive for Coronavirus in April and has since recovered, lives in Ruthin with her partner Michael and her two daughters, Esme, aged nine, and Elsa, seven.

Ciara’s sister Sinead, 28 who lives in New York, spied the campaign #portraitsfornhsheroes on Instagram, an initiative started by Tom Croft, a portrait painter in Oxford.

He had reached his limit for commissions, but was ‘so touched’ by seeing a father and daughter on the frontline, he asked fellow artist Inma Garcia-Carrasco to do it - a Spanish artist living in London.

The painting was presented to the family on a Zoom call. As well as Sinead, Ciara has brother Louis and sister Jacinta.

Kelvin, who has partner Louise, said: “When it was presented it on Zoom, I could see the easel so I guessed there was something going on and it when I saw it, I thought it was a fantastic painting.

“The picture was from our first shift together and that’s something that will never happen again. I pulled a stern face and I think Inma has captured that perfectly.

“I’ve had about 13 different jobs in the past and being a paramedic is the one I’ve enjoyed the most and I came into with various life skills and experiences.

“There is a sense of togetherness and connectivity that has come out of this current time.

Denbighshire Free Press:

Original photo of Kelvin and daughter Ciara

“I would never have known Inma or crossed paths with her yet she’s done this fantastic painting for us for free.

"I do think that once the threat of the virus has gone, there will be many good things that we can all take from this.”

Ciara said: “I have been working for the Welsh Ambulance Service for just under a year now. Prior to that I worked with North West Ambulance Service for three years.

"Sinead initially contacted Tom Croft, who had started the #portraitsfornhsheroes campaign, but he already had loads of requests so reached out to Inma Garcia-Carrasco who offered to do the painting for us.

“Michael was busy making PPE for keyworkers, so I was at home with the girls when the portrait was unveiled to me.

“It was such a special surprise to me. I couldn’t believe that Inma had been so kind as to donate her time to painting something so special to us. I was overwhelmed by it all.”

Asked about what it has been like working during the current time and testing positive with Covid-19, Ciara replied: “I have never seen anything like this before. Luckily, all my colleagues are great and help to make working during these times much better. I feel lucky that I am able to go out and still work and help people that need it.

“The support from the public is such a great morale booster. I have worked the past two Thursdays so have been able to witness the clap. It makes me so emotional to see all of the support that we have. It honestly does make such a difference to us and puts a smile on our face.

“I tested positive for Coronavirus after experience a loss of taste and smell and feeling generally under the weather.

“After a couple of days I began to vomit. I was unable to keep anything down at all and became lethargic so, on Easter Sunday, I went to the ‘Out of hours’ GP who he admitted me into Glan Clwyd Hospital. Once there, they tested me there for coronavirus and after leaving, I received my positive test results.

“I was still feeling unwell and being sick when I received the results but after another few days, I was able to eat a little and keep some fluids down.

“I gradually got better but still have no sense of taste or smell, some six weeks later.

“I’ve been told it may never come back, which as a girl who likes her food, is pretty hard to swallow - pun intended.

“Saying that, I know I’ve been very lucky compared to some others.”

Kelvin said: “It affects you both personally and professionally, as a father because you don’t want your children to get it and it also reminds you how vulnerable we as paramedics are.

“Sadly, lots of people have succumbed to the virus so when it comes so close to home like that, you realise that it needs to be treated very seriously, which, thankfully, most people seem to be doing.”

Talking about what it is like working on the front line together, Kelvin said: “It is strange to hear her referring to me as her colleague after she’s called me dad for all of these years, and vice-versa with me calling her colleague.

"Having said that, if you’d have told me years ago, I’d never have believed it.”

Ciara added: “I always remember a patient of Dad’s seeing him in Morrison’s and thanking Dad for all he had done. It made me realise the difference you can make to someone and must have stirred something in me to want to do the same.

"I am so glad I did as I honestly think it truly is the best job in the world, as cliché as that sounds.

"It’s so special to be able to work with Dad.

“We have worked together multiple times now. I’m very fortunate that I am able to see a side to Dad that none of my family are able to see.

"It’s a privilege to be able to work alongside him”