Award for the children's nurse who embodies compassionate care

WellChild patron Prince Harry pays tribute to nurses who care for children with life-limiting conditions and their families.

Prince Harry has paid tribute to nurses who care for children with life-limiting conditions and their families.

The prince spoke of his 'utmost admiration' for the work of the WellChild charity – of which he has been a patron for 10 years – during its annual awards ceremony in London yesterday.

'Most compassionate nurse'

Among the winners was Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust nurse Julia Nekooi, who works in the community. A member of the trust's Helena specialist nursing team, she has been nursing for almost 40 years.

Ms Nekooi collected the 2017 Nurse Award, which also honoured doctors, volunteers, and children themselves.

Colleague Jill Taylor nominated her for the award. She said: ‘Julia embodies what it means for nursing to be a vocation and not just a job. For her, it really is a labour of love. Julia is the most humble and compassionate nurse I have ever met in my 30 years of nursing.’

Care at home

WellChild fundraises to help children with serious and life-limiting conditions leave hospital and be cared-for at home. It funds a team of 32 nurses around the UK.

Prince Harry said: 'I meet the parents, who are often powerless to change their children's fate, but will do everything they can to make the most of each moment. I see the nurses and clinical staff, who become a lifeline for these families that just want to be at home rather than in hospital.

'What everybody has in common is the sense of grace, positivity and good humour that creates a community of support. Knowing that someone is on your side, understands what you are going through, and will carry you through it, is a lifeline that should not be underestimated.'

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