An intensive-care nurse on the frontline of the fight against Covid-19 has got her e-bike back after it was stolen from outside Wellington Regional Hospital.

Kathy Hughes told the Herald she left work late last night to find her chain lock cut through and her bike missing.

"I don't think I even felt anything, I was totally just empty is the only word. We're all so tired and running on scraps at the hospital because we're working so hard to prepare everything that I just didn't have anything left to even feel anything about it."

Hughes posted a picture of her stolen ride on a missing bike Facebook page.

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Benjamin Friedlander checks the page every morning after he lost his own bike three months ago, and this morning was no different.

He then went to New World Chaffers to do his grocery shopping and when he walked out of the supermarket he saw an e-bike that looked just like the one he'd seen online.

Friedlander told the Herald it also caught his attention as it wasn't locked.

Benjamin Friedlander recognised the stolen ride from a lost bike Wellington Facebook page. Photo / Supplied.
Benjamin Friedlander recognised the stolen ride from a lost bike Wellington Facebook page. Photo / Supplied.

He waited around to see if anyone would claim it but after no one showed, he used the lock from his own bike to secure it and drop his groceries home.

He contacted Hughes online and met her back outside New World where she confirmed the bike was hers.

"She was pretty over the moon. It feels pretty gut wrenching when you've forked out all that money because they're not cheap, e-bikes", Friedlander said.

Following social media attention about the stolen bike a GoFundMe page was set up to raise money for a replacement bike.

Miranda shared the theft with her Twitter followers. Photo / Twitter
Miranda shared the theft with her Twitter followers. Photo / Twitter

Hughes said several bike shops had also messaged, offering to loan her a new ride.

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"I'm probably going to have to tell people to stand down, I've barely been able to get to my messages because I've been so busy at work", she said.

Her tweet has been shared far and wide, with UK bike companies getting in touch with Hughes, mistaking her for an NHS nurse.

Kathy Miranda works as a Lifeflight and intensive care nurse. Photo / Twitter
Kathy Miranda works as a Lifeflight and intensive care nurse. Photo / Twitter

Hughes said the response was incredible and the hundreds of kind messages has turned her mood around.

"Last night I was in a real 'why do I even bother' kind of mood, who am I trying to help here? Is all this work going to people who don't give a shit about anyone else?"

A police spokesperson told the Herald that police received a report yesterday that a bicycle had been stolen from outside Wellington Hospital and are making inquiries.

Hughes works as a specialist nurse technician in the intensive care unit at Wellington Hospital.

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Her job is to procure new equipment for ICU, manage stocks and write policies and she had been flat out preparing for the Covid-19 pandemic.

"There's a really anxious feeling in the hospital at the moment, because no one really knows exactly what we're preparing for," she said.

"We're hearing horrible stories from our colleagues all over the word, who are our friends, and we're hearing from them in Italy and Spain and everywhere, we're hearing awful stories about what they're going through so there's a lot of anxiety about what it is that we're going to face."

The unknown is the hardest part for people, she said.

Earlier this week, another Kiwi nurse revealed the harsh reality facing frontline healthcare workers.

In a Facebook post, Noeleen Schoultz asked people to put themselves in the shoes of those "who have no choice but to be confronted with this illness face on".

PM Jacinda Ardern explains the alert to Kiwis phones from Civil Defence last night as the country prepares to go into lockdown. Video / Facebook

"I have recently been told that colleagues of mine have been told that they can no longer live in their rental if they go to work. How ridiculous is that? I completely understand that it's a frightening thing but do you not think that it is frightening for us and that we are doing everything we can not to bring it home with us?" she wrote on Facebook earlier today.

"We have families too that we don't want to compromise. So not only do we have to worry about that but now we have to worry whether or not we are going to have a place to stay if we go to work and do our job which is paying our bills."

Schoultz says that, as much as her and her colleagues would love to stay home with family, they have a duty of care.

"We have thought of other options to distance ourselves from loved ones by renting another place to stay plus finding washing facilities that would wash our uniforms rather then bringing them home with us - the DHB should be doing this but they don't. All of which would be out of our own pocket which most of us can't afford," she said.

"I have never been so shocked and disappointed in some NZ people as I am now. We are not cared for by the DHB and we are literally fighting for a safer environment every shift and now we are having to fight outside of work," she said.

"I am one of the lucky ones. It's my landlords that remind me every day that there are Kiwis that are decent and compassionate to what we do and remind me why I fell in love with NZ in the first place."

Schoultz's post received a wave of support on Facebook.

"I do hope that our Government can provide us with the accommodation for the meantime during this outbreak. Some of us are being discriminated [against]. There are even some nurses who were abruptly asked to leave their flat due to this pandemic. We the frontliners would need support from the Government during this time," another nurse commented.

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website