‘Diabetes specialist nurse saved my life’

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‘Diabetes specialist nurse saved my life’

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When Lindsay McKillop developed complications from diabetes, she nearly died. But she says nurse Kathy Taylor went beyond the call of duty to help save her life and aid her recovery.


Diabetes specialist nurse Kathy Taylor supported not just Lindsay but the whole family. 

Three years ago I nearly died from complications related to diabetes, but specialist nurse Kathy Taylor and her excellent team helped to save my life

Having previously been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, I was being monitored by my GP. I had been feeling unwell for a while and the GP thought I had caught a winter bug. In fact, I had type 1 diabetes.

I don't recall much from that time, except that I was very unwell. I spent five days in intensive care at Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley, and a further eight weeks in another part of the hospital.

My diabetes specialist nurse Kathy Taylor supported not only me, but my family, including my husband, who has cardiac problems, and our young son.

Kathy and her team delivered outstanding patient-centred care. I was scared, and my phobia of needles made the situation more difficult. Kathy explained to me calmly how the needles with insulin worked, what they were for, and why it was important that I learned to inject myself. This was the key: I felt reassured because she was so calm and friendly, and this helped me overcome my fear of needles so that I could give myself my insulin twice a day.

When I got home, Kathy phoned me every day to see how I was, and I felt someone was looking out for me. If it wasn't for this, I don't think I would have got through it.

True team leader

My recovery has been a long road, and Kathy has been very much a part of it. No matter the problem, Kathy has been there.

I've spoken to other diabetes patients and it's clear that Kathy has helped many of them too. She has always gone beyond the call of duty, been a wonderful team leader and motivated staff and patients. She is a friend to the professionals she works with, and to patients' families. 

Kathy retired recently, marking the end of her nursing career in the NHS. I imagine there are thousands of people who have been helped by her, and I am grateful to be one of them. She is a credit to nursing and an inspiration to young nurses. 

Tell us your story

Are you a patient who has received memorable care from a nurse? To contribute to Nursing Standard's Patient View column, contact sarah.lydall@rcni.com