Patient view

Nurse has given me strength and confidence for my battle with cancer

Sarah Raven was diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumour in June 2011. Here, she talks about her inspirational nurse, Eleanor Church. 
Sarah Raven with her husband JJ

Sarah Raven was diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumour in June 2011. Here, she talks about her inspirational nurse, Eleanor Church.

Ever since I was diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumour in June 2011, my amazing, inspirational upper GI specialist nurse Eleanor Church has been a pillar of support. She is so cheerful, warm, kind and compassionate that I actually look forward to my oncology appointments at Bedford Hospital.

I have since been diagnosed with gastrointestinal neuroectodermal tumour (GNET), a very rare type of sarcoma only diagnosed in 60 people worldwide.

Eleanor always goes the extra mile in trying to clarify information in relation to scans or tests. She is so knowledgeable, but if I'm having a specialist test she is unfamiliar with, she always researches it so she can explain it and answer any questions.

Whenever I

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Sarah Raven was diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumour in June 2011. Here, she talks about her inspirational nurse, Eleanor Church. 


Sarah Raven with her husband JJ.

Ever since I was diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumour in June 2011, my amazing, inspirational upper GI specialist nurse Eleanor Church has been a pillar of support. She is so cheerful, warm, kind and compassionate that I actually look forward to my oncology appointments at Bedford Hospital.

I have since been diagnosed with gastrointestinal neuroectodermal tumour (GNET), a very rare type of sarcoma only diagnosed in 60 people worldwide.

Eleanor always goes the extra mile in trying to clarify information in relation to scans or tests. She is so knowledgeable, but if I'm having a specialist test she is unfamiliar with, she always researches it so she can explain it and answer any questions.

Whenever I am talking to her, I don’t feel rushed, and she is happy to spend as long as it takes to ensure I understand everything. Nothing is too much trouble for her and her caring and optimistic nature has made a huge difference.

She is approachable and empathetic and as she realises that waiting for test results and appointments can be nerve-wracking, she goes out of her way to alleviate anxieties and pre-empt questions.

Emotional support 

Eleanor has been excellent at chasing other hospitals and departments when they have taken a while to get back to me with appointments. Even if I don’t have immediate appointments or investigations coming up, she still calls to see how I’m feeling. 

At times, my husband has been unable to attend my oncology appointments and Eleanor has been amazing at providing emotional support. She has also been a huge support to my husband throughout this difficult time and offers him clear and helpful information.

She is tremendously hardworking but is easy to get hold of when I have any queries, and if she says she will get back to you by the afternoon, you can guarantee she will. This dependability takes the worry out of so many situations.

Eleanor goes out of her way to ensure that I come first at all times. She has given me the confidence and strength to get through this challenging time and I don’t know what I would have done without her. She is such a credit to the nursing profession and I’m so lucky and thankful to have her as my nurse.

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