Finalist for the Patient's Choice Award 2022
Staff nurse, Southern Health and Social Care Trust
Christine McCaughey, whose teenage son has complex needs, nominated community nurse Diane Lyttle for going to extraordinary lengths to support the whole family
‘Community children’s nurse Diane Lyttle was our son Blake’s ward nurse when he was three weeks; now he is 14, she is his community nurse.
‘Blake has numerous medical conditions related to abnormalities in two chromosomes. Luckily, we’ve had Ms Lyttle, a nurse who has gone above and beyond at every hurdle we have faced. If every family of a child with disabilities had a nurse like her their troubles would be halved.
‘One night when he was 16 months old he needed a hospital transfer and she offered to get out of bed after working a long day to come and escort him.
‘On another occasion, I found Blake needing CPR. I rang Ms Lyttle, who rushed to our home, arriving the same time as the ambulance. She packed essentials, liaised with the ambulance crew, then stayed with my husband while Blake and I went to hospital.
‘She’s been a rock to us all as a family, especially during the pandemic, and when it comes to getting care packages sorted, she’s in front of the panel making sure we get all the help we need. She is often our voice in a room of healthcare professionals.
‘She spends three to four mornings a week with Blake so I can sleep and she has him shining like a pin and ready for the day ahead. She understands, stands up for families’ rights and cares for the kids like they are her own, even if that means working extra hours.
‘We have had a very rocky three years with Blake. He needs a lot of care and no matter what we require, Ms Lyttle steps up, whether in uniform or not.
‘Blake’s recent stay in Great Ormond Street Hospital was expected to last two weeks, but he stayed seven months. Throughout that time she called regularly to lend support and once turned up in London to check we were okay.
‘Whether collecting Blake’s prescriptions, running over the country to get equipment, attending meetings, ensuring all Blake’s care needs are met after her shift has ended, or bringing fresh food to a very tired mummy at hospital, Ms Lyttle has been a rock.’