My half-sister Katie was born prematurely at 35 weeks.
Katie was diagnosed with Chronic Neonatal Lung (CNLD) Hydrocephalus requiring a VP shunt.
It quickly became apparent things were not going according to plan.
Diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, the challenges began – multiple hospital admissions, gastrostomy feeds, home oxygen, multiple teams…
Supporting my dad, step-mum and siblings through this was a busy and stressful time.
The biggest honour I could be given was being entrusted with caring for Katie for a weekend while my younger siblings and parents went away for a much-needed break.
Our daughter Charlotte was only seven months younger and she was intuitive, knowing Katie needed extra love and care, which we gave in abundance.
Sadly, in September 1994 Katie passed away, but her legacy remains today.
Being immersed in the hospital system and observing how lovingly the nurses took care of her inspired me to become a Registered Nurse.
By strange fate my last placement, randomly selected, was the ward where Katie was a regular and my mentor, also allocated randomly, was Katie’s main nurse.
My passion for paediatric nursing within disabilities continues today as a Nurse Navigator and project lead for an innovation project to standardise the care of transition from paediatric to adult health care.
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