One of the many things that I am sure I’m not the only person to take for granted living in Britain is our National Health Service. Its only when I see posts about the cost of health care abroad that I remind myself just how lucky we are to have the incredible staff, care and treatments available to us without the need for private insurance.

This year, 2018, marks 70 years since the NHS was created and so as a tribute, I wanted to acknowledge 70 NHS heroes who work within our health service and thank them for the difference they have made to so many lives. I know from experience that the work they do doesn’t just affect the patient but their whole support network as well as generations that follow in the case of saving lives! So, with the help of some friends here is a very long list of some very special people and the reasons why we think they are our NHS heroes (you might want to grab a coffee or gin for this blog!)

For me, Mr Richardson at Alder Hey hospital and his entire team have been incredible. He tells it like it is in the delicate and unpredictable reconstruction of my sons face and he is the architect of the way my boy will look to the world. A huge responsibility and one which he carries with compassion, understanding and experience. To him, Mr Newman, Mr McCormick and all the staff at Alder Hey, thank you from me and my family.

One down, 69 to go. Lets go….

Laura Chesmer I am so grateful to all the lovely doctors and nurses at Medway Maritime Hospital and St. George’s Hospital in London for helping to save my daughter’s life when she was two weeks old. Special thanks to Dr. Zahid Mukhtar who performed open surgery on her at 5 weeks old to remove a huge cyst and her left ovary. I really don’t know what we would do without our NHS; they do amazing, life-changing things every single day.

Becka Smith Our NHS specialist speech and language therapist, Kimberly Downing is amazing. She was the first professional to really listen to me, and she worked so hard with J.


Kirsty Lloyd Hall Grateful to all the amazing nicu staff at St George’s hospital who saved my little girl at 3 days old after her lung collapsed – forever grateful and her subsequent surgeon Miss Eze who fixed her breathing 

Terri Brown I will be eternally grateful to the midwife from the Countess of Chester who stood up to the Dr and requested they tested the babies heart beat again despite the Dr telling me I could go home. Thanks to that midwife I was tested again and then taken for an emergency C section and my baby boy was delivered safely. I cant think about what would have happened if I had followed the Dr’s instructions and come home that day.

NHS heroes - new born babys feet in the hands of a woman

Alice Soule Jude’s physio and Occupational Therapist when he was a toddler. They were amazing and gave me their numbers so I could call them with any questions. Never had such caring people help him and they could sense my anxiety and worry about getting him more mobile  

Laura Dove Kay – my bereavement midwife after our son died. She held my hand on the day he died, supported me through the months that followed, and was there for me in the years after when most people had long forgotten. Without her I’m not even sure I would be here now. 

Vicki Coombe – Helen – the midwife with my first child back in 2014. She was AMAZING and knew the way things were going within 10 minutes of her shift starting, long before the consultants made any decisions. Her consideration and taking the time to talk me through things made all the difference in what was a very traumatic birth.

Jenna Newell My current midwife has gone way beyond her role and ensured that we have a plan in place ready for when the surrogate baby is born. She’s eased my mind and the mind of the babies parents so much and I’ll always be grateful. 

Louise George Dr Wilson, the cardiologist who performed in-utero heart surgery on my eldest daughter at 28 weeks’ gestation and gave us hope that she would be able to survive the heart surgeries she needed after birth. He helped give us six and a half amazing years with her.

Emma Mosley Susan Gunter & Charlotte Kent, midwives at Frimley Park Hospital who safely delivered our daughter Charlotte Grace after a rocky ride. Heroes 😍 

Jade Bremner I have two. The first would be the neonatal team at pinderfields hospital, they saved my son’s life he was born at 28 weeks he had blood transfusions, oxygen and was brought back to life twice. As well as saving my son they kept me and his dad sane.

The second would be the whole team that looked after me at St James’s hospital in Leeds. They saw me weekly throughout my pregnancy with my daughter, monitored my health problems and cervix. They didn’t risk leaving me a week when my cervix started to funnel at around 16 weeks they got me in for the stitch the same day.

The NHS has saved my children’s life and saved my life once. I’m so grateful for the NHS!

Jeannette Cripps Grateful to Dr Mann (now retired) at Royal Berkshire Hospital who agreed to delay precious puberty for my autistic daughter after her periods started at age 8. She’s now 14 and it was delayed for 4 years. Those extra years of “grace” gave us time to emotionally prepare her for the onset and we are so grateful for that.
Also Mr Mahadevan, again at RBH, who has done a wonderful job in remedying feet ops that didn’t work for me. 

NHS heroes - the soles of two feet, a black and white image

Emma Reed All the staff in Basingstoke NICU who worked long, tough hours caring for my baby in November and December along with many others. It is the hardest thing to leave your baby in a hospital but knowing those nurses were there to see to him made it all that bit easier. Thanks to their dedication, knowledge and care he is here, healthy and well after being born at just 32 weeks. 

Jayne Bagnall Dr Sern Lim my husband’s heart transplant consultant. He has supported us through our entire transplant journey. We are forever grateful to such a committed guy. He totally rocks  

Jen Mellor My NHS midwife Sue Henderson at Bassetlaw hospital in Worksop….she went above and beyond when she helped me to tell my health visitor that I needed help as I was in an abusive relationship as I was scared to do it myself but knew she had to tell once I had told her.

 

Nikki Lancaster Nic Lightfoot Children’s Community nurse – affectionately named Dr Nic by my kids! Supported our family in keeping Lennon at home and out of hospital, training me to do all sorts of complex medical procedures myself and keeping me sane. The only adult I saw consistently once a week throughout Lennon’s life. 

Rachael Blakey My midwife when I delivered my little boy. I had been in labour for three days – I pushed for 10 hours & she kept my sane. She held my hand, constantly reassured & praised me. I ended up going for a forceps delivery & I don’t think I could have handled it without her. I felt so disappointed that I had been in labour for so long & “couldn’t do it myself” but she gave me a hug, cheered words of encouragement & told me how amazing I was. Whilst I was in theatre she held my hand & we talked about our shared love of Harry Potter. She was amazing & I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.

Amy Fell Karol Kuczera from Time to Talk, a local NHS counselling service, who has helped me recover from Birth Trauma related PTSD 

Erica Knight There have been so many people who looked after me or members of my family but there was one man that sticks out. I don’t know his name but he did the tea round at Maidstone hospital. I’d been in for several weeks and he walked past my room (I was in isolation due to c-diff) and noticed I was crying and bought me a cup of tea. That act of kindness has stuck with me over the years.

NHS heroes - a cup of tea with a tag saying 'kindness is the gift of life'

 

Natalie Brown The whole team at The Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton who went above & beyond when our youngest was admitted with a chest infection. ‘People led’ care is their mantra & it made all the difference – the NHS is truly amazing 

Lucy Howard Dr A Zaghloul for being the first consultant psychiatrist to actually care about me as a person. After my last overdose, he phoned me every day for a month to see how I was. I do believe that he is the reason I’m still alive. He also challenged me when I believed my depression would prevent me being a mother. 

Craig Freeman Rosie Stratfold – She was the midwife that supported us and brought our son into the world. She was amazing.

Lianne Marie Freeman The lovely nurse at Luton and Dunstable who held my hand whilst I was put to sleep for an operation and was still holding it when I woke – she was such a kind lady 

Carla-marie Lett Jade the midwife on duty the night I had a massive bleed whilst pregnant. I lost 2.5 litres of blood in the middle of the night and I was wheeled off for an emergency c-section at 33 weeks, I was terrified. Jade stayed with me holding my hand throughout the whole ordeal. She kept reassuring me and telling me it will all be ok – she helped me stay calm even though I was very close to bleeding to death and losing George too.

 

Helena Rodger Ashworth The Silver Star Team in Oxfordshire who cared for my girls and I throughout my pregnancies 

Ayse Erdin I had a Doctor called Mo (I can’t remember his full name) who helped me get the vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) I wanted so desperately. He was so chilled and really supportive.

Beth Davidson Mr Serban Stoica. For fixing the hole in our baby’s heart. ❤️

 

Louise Richards ~ Their were two nurses on ward A3 Wythenshawe hospital – Catrin (not sure of spelling) & Liam. They really took care of me when I broke my leg

 

Natalie Trice ~ Penena Edel is a practioner nurse at the RNOH when Lucas has his treatment and not only goes the extra mile when at work, but is also part of our DDH UK network and if often on hand to help parents and patients around the world with questions and nothing is ever too much trouble

 

Jenny Mault ~ Jeanette from the eye clinic. Pre and post op whenever I saw her she made me feel relaxed. When I had to have stitches taken out of my eyeball she stood with me keeping me calm whilst the consultant did the deed! She was amazing

 

Heather Scott~ Alison Graham is a daily hero on the birthing unit at Oldham hospital, she has recently supported someone in the sensitive situation of adoption, 20 years in the job and still loving it, she runs hypnobirthing sessions within the community. Her mum was a midwife too so it’s in the family

 

Samantha Menzies ~ My health visitor Julie Simms from when I had William. She helped me through some dark dark days by listening and not judgemental. Fantastic Health Visitor.

 

Louise Gorman ~ Vicky – Cherubs Breastfeeding Support Worker. I was at the end of my tether and feeling like a failure. I dreaded each feed and cried most of the time. She diagnosed a tongue tie at 4 weeks old. Vicky saved my sanity and without her I wouldn’t have breastfed my son – 21 months and still going strong. Breastfeeding is a personal choice and it means so much to me to be able to share those precious moments with my son.

 

Steph Ibbs ~ I think all the breast care nurses and cancer treatment ward x

 

Marc Carter ~ My wife Mandy, despite being a full time carer to our 3 children and supporting me with my health problems, and having her own physical health needs, is an A&E nurse. She’s currently taking a break as we’ve recently moved, but she’s keen to get back to nursing soon, working full time alongside the young ‘uns who complain their feet hurt halfway through their 12 hour shifts!

 

Fiona Jane Hamilton ~ Dr Nateragun treated me on the Stroke ward in Northstaffs . After being told I would be tube fed for the rest of my life . He said , “you’re a strong woman , things can change” . He give me hope when the previous consultant had written me off . He turned out to be right . Hope is everything

 

NHS heroes - a woman punches the air with a sunset behind her
Grace Elisabeth ~ Cheryl Frith literally saved my life the day I gave birth to my 9 and a half pound daughter. After a huge hemorrhage,I was losing so much blood that was rushed to theatre for emergency treatment and followed it with numerous blood transfusions. Through it all Cheryl was there holding my hand, keeping me going, talking me through it, telling me I would be ok. I can’t see that women without welling up. She will forever be my hero. The NHS is lucky to have her.
Claire Dowdall ~ My Dad is a community first responder in South Staffs, which he does alongside a full time job. He is the local co-ordinator for responders, has received an award and has done cool stuff like safely delivering a baby that had the umbilical cord wrapped around its neck

 

Steph Curtis ~ The play specialist who was working at the Royal Brompton Hospital when we went with Sasha 3 years ago – who made a sign to prevent Sasha from getting anxious saying ‘please discuss all plans with my mum first. My mum will then explain to me what is happening. Only enter my room if really necessary’  It made such a difference.

 

Sass Wyatt ~ My 2 consultants who supported me throughout my arthritis diagnosis and journey: amazingly never patronised me , Always listened and considered what I had to say, even as an 8 year old. Like recommending I use a Zimmerframe, and the absolute disgust on my face and sharp “no!” stopped that conversation in its tracks. I also remember them sharing in my disappointment when we realised that growth hormones were not going to help me in getting any taller.
Dr Perrum and Mr Hickling: Derriford hospital Plymouth

Helen Marshall ~ My mum Maureen Marshall works on ccu (coronary care unit) a cardiac intensive care unit and saves lives every time she goes to work

Emma Bradley ~ Rick Majkowski at Gloucester Hospital is Erin’s orthopaedic surgeon. He has been brilliant, built her a new hip socket but more than that he was the first person that really talked to us after her late diagnosis. He never hid from what was coming and told me from the start it was going to be an uphill battle. He was right and after every surgery he was so kind to us. Erin calls him her hero. Her scar is her badge of bravery.

Laura Jones ~ Mr Ahmed. Royal Stoke, repaired Eloise’s scoliosis and visited her every day until discharge. She grew 3 inches and is fit and well now.

Jo Cooksey ~ Sian from portage used to come out every week and prepare Z for school. She was always there on the other end of the phone for any problems. I think she was the only one that actually heard / saw me cry throughout all the diagnosis.

Sally Mitcham Mine would be our consultant who cares deeply about every single patient, always takes the time to explain what can be a scary complicated condition but never minds when I rib him about taking too much time off to play golf. (He doesn’t!)

Angela AKelly ~ I think ours would be our GP. Totally amazing each and every time. There’s two that we see at our Leith Hill Practice. Dr Louise Keene And Dr Leisal Moffat. Amazing Doctors

Becky Jeapes We had an incredible physiotherapist called Suzy Davenport. She went above and way beyond for Violet and for me. Sadly she moved to pastures new last year and we have been lost without her. She arranged EVERY piece of equipment we needed ASAP. And ensured everything was in place for V to get the very best transition care when she left. We both cried at our last appointment. She is incredibly passionate and caring. She knew Violets diagnosis from our first meeting with her. Almost a year before V got her official Quad CP diagnosis!

 

Jenni Jolly We used to have an amazing health nurse who worked alongside the health visiting team and she went above and beyond to help us when our son was younger, she helped us to get referrals, gave us support in his iep meetings, was the liaison between son’s consultant and me as with us being deaf we can’t pick up a phone for results or any problems , nhs don’t allow email due to confidentiality so any issue I just speak to the nurse and she would email the consultants and then get back to me asap, helped with medication etc …..I actually have quite a few nhs heros who have been amazing!

 

Catherine Hazell ~ Plastics Nurse specialist Gaynor Osman for her gentle but humerus approach and great bedside manner towards families and children dealing with ear reconstruction. She always managed to make Alfie smile or even just communicate during the most difficult times. There was a time that Alfie had to have metal wires removed from his reconstructed ear as they were causing infection Gaynor was amazing at dealing with Alfie who was terribly upset about it all. In the end she gave him gas and air while they removed them and he let them do it calmly.

 

Carolyn Morgan Mr Jeremy Collyer at The Queen Victoria Hospital. Without a doubt ,he transformed my son’s life. He gave him the confidence to have a photo shoot after surgery,before that he would have torn photos of himself in half. He had major facial reconstruction at the age of 18 and the surgery took 13 hours .At the age of 12 he thought no one would give him a job because of his “crooked face” as he put it but he has no trouble in getting a job and girlfriends too! Also so grateful for the intensive care team,the nurses ,the porters and everyone else involved .What would we do without them?

 

NHS heroes - a man stands before a waterfall, arms outstretched as a rainbow arches across it
Chloe Hollingsworth ~ Our cleft nurse Sharon Robinson. Our son doesn’t have cleft but she still helps with his feeding while he’s been in hospital she has text me every week and even visited him in picu. She’s gone above and beyond her job role and is absolutely amazing. If I have any problems at home with him she will get us the help he needs and arrange his appointments. She’s a credit to the nhs and over the last 6 months we would have been lost without her especially the beginning.

 

Suzanne Pitchford Mr jasani orthopaedics at Royal Stoke. He’s over worked but nothings to much trouble for him.
Julie Holloway ~ Paul the palliative care nurse who looked after my Mum in her final weeks. He spoke to her so beautifully and said it had been a privilege to look after her. His manner was so supportive and comforting.
Mark Machin ~ Dr Losa was the pediatrician who diagnosed my sons condition. He was so kind and understanding and still looks after my son now even though he’s 13.

 

Billy Brown – My nhs heroes are the fast acting nurses in the countess of Chester A and E department. Thanks to their fast thinking my son received the care he needed when he had breathing problems at 3 weeks old. Their ability to stay calm helped my wife and I stay calm too and we will be forever grateful for them.
Mandi Morrison ~ My hero is a midwife called Curita Reilly, when I was pregnant with my first she was the one who took time to listen to me and my baby. She was the one who realised my blood pressure was over 200 and came back to check on me at midnight, which resulted in being readmitted to hospital. She was part of every one of my seven pregnancies and was the midwife on call when I had my sixth little one at home. Although she is technically retired she is still running the local baby cafe and providing support for all new mums, amazing lady. She even did the pretty muddy event with me a few years ago!

Nicola Hughes ~ My hero is my Dad’s surgeon Mr Ben Liu. My dad was rushed into hospital in October last year with severe abdominal pain, Mr Liu realised he had perforated his bowel and performed life saving surgery to repair the perforation, clean up the mess the perforation had caused in his abdominal cavity and created a stoma to let his bowel heal. All pretty impressive, but the most impressive to me was that over the next three months that my Dad was in hospital, Mr Liu visited him every morning to assess his progress and provide support. He was there every, single, day, including weekends. I owe that man so much, not just for saving my Dad’s life but also for providing much needed counsel when he needed it most. They became firm friends and are still in touch now.

Beth Law ~ My hero was my Moms Palliative nurse carer Lynne. She absolutely got my Mom from the day she met her and listened to exactly what she wanted and acted on her behalf. Not only did she support her, but the whole family during her illness and when she passed away. She was such a comfort at such an awful time

Maria Hughes ~ Mine is a doctor I saw in A&E when my Sats were low, she was so patient while I decided whether to have the gas blood test or not (through a main artery). I went ahead with the test and she held my hand before doing it and said this is going to be fine, then done the test. I was so scared but she put me at ease; there’s no way I would’ve done that test if it wasn’t for that amazing doctor.

Emma Jones Laura – my community nurse mentor when I was a student nurse. I have never met such a patient, caring and approachable nurse and was such an advocate for patients. She made me want to be the nurse I am and I hope I do her proud, if every nurse could be mentored by her the NHS would be healed

Claire Bayliss ~ My Twins wouldn’t be here today without the help of the entire NICU Team at Luton & Dunstable Hospital. Born at only 30 weeks, needing help with breathing, feeding and more, the team were fantastic from day 1. Getting us involved with their care right from the start and supporting us when we needed it most. For 5.5 weeks they were a second family to us and our twins. They’re all heroes to me.

Cara Devaney My NHS hero has to be two people as they come as a team. It’s our Physio May Dempster and our OT Susanne Shields from Lanarkshire NHS. Since the moment we moved back from Australia to Scotland 2.5 years ago they have worked together to make sure Lyla has had everything she needs from equipment to involvement at nursery and at home, they have provided intensive blocks of therapy as well as attending private Bobath sessions with us to work with the other therapists to help Lyla get ready to start school and doing blocks of hydrotherapy. They have a great relationship with Lyla and with me. I really feel they genuinely care for Lyla and always go above and beyond for her.

Janet ET My NHS hero was the optician who gave me hope for the sight in my left eye which has been lazy all my life. I was getting my standard check-up and he realised I could see more than was recorded on my notes. He ran some extra tests and discovered that my rubbish eye has some superhuman peripheral vision. It was such a boost to learn something positive about my bad eye. He encouraged me to try 3D movies and I was amazed I could see them. What I thought was a dead end has found some little sparks of hope. My eye hasn’t changed but my feelings about it have and I can’t describe what a difference that makes.

Clare Coleman Mine was a wonderful wonderful homebirth midwife, Helen Dresner-Barnes from the Sheffield 1-1 team as it was then. She gave me confidence to have all three of my children at home in water births and I was blessed to have her at the birth of all three. Each time she was the embodiment of kindness, confidence and professionalism. A true midwife in every way. Amazing.

Natalie Brown The paediatric team at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton who went above & beyond when our youngest was admitted with breathing difficulties earlier this year. Our care was tailored to us & you could see everyone loved their jobs. And a shout out to Chatty Linds who gave me the wifi code so I could blog from the bedside!

Emma Morrell Any of the incredible people working at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London. They saved the life of our niece and do such work every day for many people including kids with congenital heart defects. I don’t need a link back. Please just link to this article instead which gives much more information on the amazing work they do. This is some information on the amazing work they do there!

Chloe Wilkes ~ I am in a wheelchair, on a ventilator and have a tracheotomy. Emma John has looked after me for 17 years. She looks after me like a second mum and she is definitely my hero!

NHS heroes - a figure holds a spiderman mask at their side infront of beams of sunlightSo there you have it, proof that not all heroes wear masks. Without exception, everyone has paid tribute to the incredible care and consideration they have received from staff within the National Health Service. This isn’t to say that there aren’t mistakes made and yes, sometimes they are horrendous but it makes me sad that its those errors that make the press while NHS heroes like the ones you have just read about go unmentioned. So I hope that in a small way I have rectified that today and helped some very grateful people express their appreciate and recognition for those who go above and beyond to support, comfort and care for us in our time of need. Happy birthday NHS, we wish you many many more!

 

 

Chat soon

Charlie xxx 

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