Our son’s nurse never gave up on him – and that is why he is here today

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Our son’s nurse never gave up on him – and that is why he is here today

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Father Chris Feddon says Maria Applin was a life-saving ally when his son was in hospital with multiple organ failure


The values of Princess Alexandra Hospital in Essex are to be respectful,
caring, responsible and committed. Picture: iStock

Without the care, compassion and professionalism of Maria Applin, our son would not have survived after suffering multiple organ failure.

Maria, a staff nurse at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Essex, was kind and compassionate, showing empathy to our son Craig and listening and responding to him and to us, his family. 

She treated us as individuals and her care of Craig was consistently excellent. Nothing was too much trouble and she was her patient’s staunchest advocate.

Beyond books and peers

Craig was 48 hours from death, but in Maria he found an ally who was determined to do all in her power to help him recover. This amazing nurse saved our son’s life through her care, dedication and stubborn refusal to let him die. 

It is almost impossible to believe that Maria had only graduated six months before she began caring for Craig. Her ethics, professionalism and expertise were beyond reproach. You can be taught nursing procedures through books and by your peers, but what you cannot be taught is care and compassion, skills that can be as effective as any medicine. 

And Maria’s compassion, care, kindness and empathy helped us get through this terrifying time. She listened to us as a family and supported us, as well as caring so brilliantly for Craig.

Never gave up

He was so ill he could not speak, but Maria became his voice, questioning people and making sure that everything possible was being done for him. She never saw Craig as just another patient in a bed, and made it her business to ensure people listened to her. 

Maria co-ordinated every aspect of Craig’s care and treatment, communicating with staff at all levels and always with us as a family. And when consultants didn’t seem to be listening, she never gave up. It’s because of this that our son is alive today. 

We cannot thank her enough. The values of Princess Alexandra Hospital are on all its signs and literature: to be respectful, caring, responsible and committed. In our opinion, Maria embodies those values in everything she does.