Patient view: 'An utterly amazing nurse'
Rachel Oyoo praises the skills of emergency department charge nurse Ben Small, who helped save her daughter's life.
After three days of worry about my two-year-old daughter, Rosie, who had become very unwell from chickenpox, we arrived at the emergency department. Previously, three GPs had told us she was fine: she was ‘attention seeking’ and I was ‘exhausted’. The paramedic who arrived at our home told me he wasn’t worried about her. But thankfully he acknowledged my concern and took her to hospital.
Ben was there as we arrived. He was the first person to speak to me as a normal human being, as a mother worried about her child. He took my concerns seriously, acknowledged them and acted on them. He told me I was right to bring her in. These were the words I wanted to hear – a health professional telling me, finally, that my daughter needed help.
Calm and assured
Ben was immensely professional yet so personable the entire time. He took her observations and a history from me. Because of his calm exterior, I had no idea he suspected septic shock. He immediately called the consultant and wider paediatric team into the room. This saved my daughter's life.
That one act changed our lives forever: it gave us a chance of getting our daughter back. His knowledge of sepsis (a widely under-diagnosed condition), empathy and confidence in his own skills saved my daughter’s life.
Despite almost immediate antibiotic administration and aggressive fluid resuscitation, she remained in shock and needed to be intubated, sedated and taken to a paediatric intensive care unit.
From the minute the consultant broke the news that our daughter was critically ill, Ben remained with her. He kept us informed and remained positive, but honest. Rosie was his priority. He worked with his team but was conscious of us as parents and made sure we were coping. Ben was so brilliant and in our eyes that makes him an amazing nurse.
He is everything a nurse should be – professional, compassionate and kind, with brilliant communication skills. Plus, he had the knowledge and experience to save our daughter's life. He is our hero.