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Overseas nurse receives donations after theft at Stoke hospital

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A nurse who had a large amount of money stolen from her handbag during the run-up to Christmas has had most of it replaced by donations.

Tanja Bajic, originally from Croatia, had £1,700 stolen from her handbag in a public area of University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust in the weeks before Christmas.

“As soon as we heard of the incident we knew we wanted to help”

Stewart Robinson

The nurse, who had only been in the UK for 10 days, had taken the money out to rent a flat and pay for flights to allow her husband and four-year-old daughter to visit the UK.

However, staff, the public and the union Unison have raised £1,500 after hearing of Tanja’s plight.

Ms Bajic said: “This has restored my faith in humanity. When this happened to me the first thing I thought was that I wanted to go home.”

Stewart Robinson, the local Unison branch secretary, said: “Starting a new job in a different country can be very daunting.

University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust

Nurse receives donations after theft at Stoke hospital

Tanja Bajic, second from right

“On that day Tanja was at an induction where UHNM Unison was present. Even though Tanja wasn’t one of our members, as soon as we heard of the incident we knew we wanted to help,” he said.

“This is a goodwill gesture at a time of need, alone in a foreign country for only 10 days especially at Christmas time. The integration team at the hospital have done a wonderful job in trying to offer support,” he added.

Anne Barks, a care coach at the trust, said: “We felt awful and upset that Tanja had been in this country for just a few days when this happens.

“We are a family here at the hospital and we wanted to help her,” she said. “I’m delight we’ve had such a fantastic response.”

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