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Award for caring nurse who made wedding possible

Posted onPosted on 26th Feb

A nurse who helped a hospital patient to fulfil his final wish of marrying his partner has received a prestigious award.

Keela Darby, a nurse at King’s Mill Hospital, Sutton, supported Roy Wilkinson, who was receiving end-of-life care, and his family.

Keela, assisted by colleagues, arranged balloons, flowers, a cake, cards, and ‘bubbles’ at very short notice to celebrate Roy’s marriage to his partner of three years, Michelle Wilkinson.

Their wedding, attended by family, friends, and hospital staff, took place in September on the Surgical Assessment Unit, where Roy sadly passed away just five days later.

Michelle and the couple’s daughter, Katherine Wilkinson, were so grateful for the way Keela went above and beyond to support them and Roy in his final days that they nominated her for the internationally-recognised DAISY Award.

Michelle, of Farndon, said: “We nominated Keela for the outstanding work she and her team have done. They weren’t just nurses and doctors; they were friends and people that Roy trusted.

“Keela always made time to sit with Roy and make sure he was as happy and comfortable as possible. How they arranged the wedding was so special and amazing.”

Keela has worked at Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust, which runs the hospital, for 10 years. She was given the award by Michelle, Katherine, and the trust’s chief nurse, Phil Bolton, at a surprise presentation attended by colleagues.

Phil said: “I’m so proud of the way our nursing colleagues go the extra mile for patients and their families every day of the week.

“Nursing is not only about providing patients and families with excellence in clinical care, but also compassion. Keela’s achievement is a great example of what the DAISY Award is all about.”

Keela said: “I feel very honoured. It means the world to have even been nominated.

“A big part of the job is not only looking after the patient, but also providing any support their family and loved ones need.

“We wanted Roy’s family to know that he wasn’t alone when they weren’t there and that he was being taken care of.

“I want to thank and recognise the whole team for their part. It was a team effort.”

The DAISY Foundation and awards were founded by the family of J. Patrick Barnes after he died in 1999 due to complications of an autoimmune disease. His family saw the care and compassion that he was given in hospital and wanted to show their thanks.

If you have received outstanding hospital care and want to share your thanks, you can nominate a nurse or midwife at