Patient view

How a staff nurse transformed our family's traumatic experience into one of hope

Emily Armstrong says staff nurse Rebecca McKeever’s dedicated care of her daughter Ellie, who has a congenital heart problem, has been inspirational
Rebecca

Emily Armstrong says staff nurse Rebecca McKeevers dedicated care of her daughter Ellie, who has a congenital heart problem, has been inspirational.

Our daughter Ellie was born with complex congenital heart disease and was transferred to the Royal Brompton Hospital in London the day she was born. Her initial stay in hospital lasted nearly 3 months. Much of this time was spent waiting for her to grow sufficiently for surgery, but it meant that we, her parents, had to live far from our home and our family and get to know our new baby in the context of a high dependency unit.

Staff nurse Rebecca McKeever was frequently our named nurse and it was clear from the start that she was determined to make Ellies life as normal as possible. She worked hard to make it possible for Ellie

...

Emily Armstrong says staff nurse Rebecca McKeever’s dedicated care of her daughter Ellie, who has a congenital heart problem, has been inspirational. 


Ellie with nurse Rebecca McKeever

Our daughter Ellie was born with complex congenital heart disease and was transferred to the Royal Brompton Hospital in London the day she was born. Her initial stay in hospital lasted nearly 3 months. Much of this time was spent waiting for her to grow sufficiently for surgery, but it meant that we, her parents, had to live far from our home and our family and get to know our new baby in the context of a high dependency unit.

Staff nurse Rebecca McKeever was frequently our named nurse and it was clear from the start that she was determined to make Ellie’s life as ‘normal’ as possible. She worked hard to make it possible for Ellie to get to the playroom, which was no mean feat with all the breathing equipment she relied on, and helped us to set up playful routines that created positive experiences for Ellie. 

She also encouraged and supported us as parents and her cheerful care and concern made all the difference to our time in hospital.

When Ellie was 7 months old, we were back at the hospital again – this time for major open heart surgery. Unfortunately there were complications and Rebecca again became Ellie’s lead nurse. 

She visited us often after her shifts were finished, frequently giving up large amounts of her own time to continue to support us and this consistency of support and care transformed our experience at a time when Ellie’s future was uncertain. Rebecca emailed doctors and the rest of the team to make sure everyone was doing all they could for Ellie, and made us feel that she was fighting for her.

All the staff at the Brompton have been brilliant, but Rebecca has gone way beyond the call of duty and her ongoing support is invaluable to Ellie and to us. Her commitment and passionate dedication to her work is inspirational.

Want to read more?

Subscribe for unlimited access

Enjoy 1 month's access for £1 and get:

  • Full access to nursing standard.com and the Nursing Standard app
  • Monthly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs