Patient view

An important relationship

Holly Jackson explains why she believes paediatric emergency department nurse Louise Barrett saved her life
Louise Barrett and Holly Jackson

I met Louise in 2009. She was 18 and a nursing student on the children’s ward at the Royal Surrey County Hospital, Guildford.

I was 15 and had been admitted by my children’s home after a suicide attempt. I was not medically unwell so I found being on the ward distressing.

Louise was often tasked with ‘occupying’ me. Every morning she would come in with a smile that was so warm it made me feel much better. She would sit and talk, help me speak up about what was going on inside my head and what help I needed. She would give me the time to try to express myself and help me communicate with others – difficult because of my autism. She was there to help calm me; at times I was cutting myself and trying to take my life.

I have been in the


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