Published: 12:36, 10 May 2020
| Updated: 13:36, 10 May 2020
A heroic intensive care nurse is devastated after a thief stole her bike from a hospital while she battled to save lives.
Gemma Batley's much-loved bicycle was secured in a bike shed with three locks at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford.
But after finishing her tough night shift and looking forward to enjoying some downtime in the fresh air, she found the trio of locks had been snapped and no sign of her "little piece of freedom" .
A different bike – seemingly used by the thief to get to the hospital – was dumped at the shed in its place.
Ms Batley said: "All week I've been looking forward to jumping on my bike. I've needed to desperately clear my head and get out and enjoy the fresh air and sun.
"But I finished my night shift to find my bike had been stolen.
"Honestly, I cried so much I couldn't breathe. Why are people such evil scum?
"My bike is literally my baby and my only freedom.
"What that lowlife has gained was a couple of quid but what they have taken from me is priceless.
"Me and my little bike have been on some amazing ventures. I don't drive so, it has given me freedom.
Police have been made aware of the theft, but the culprit hasn't been found.
"There is an abandoned bike in the shed that police believe was used to cycle them here," the nurse added.
"What I'm hoping is someone may recognise this abandoned bike.
"I hope they feel ashamed of what they have done."
The exact time and day the bike was stolen is not known. It had been in the bike shed for a number of days, but was discovered missing yesterday.
Despite her sadness, Ms Batley has been overwhelmed the support she has since received.
"Some of the offers have been amazing - truly overwhelming," she added.
A lovely couple have just brought around a bike on loan, another gentleman has offered to buy me a bike outright and then there all the people sharing and commenting.
"I really hope that the thief sees all this and is ashamed. I can't believe how wonderful our community is."
Anyone who has any information on the theft, or has seen the bike should contact police quoting reference number 46/78276/20.