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Patient thanks theatres worker for spotting life-threatening melanoma

A patient has thanked operating department practitioner Julie Reed for spotting a potentially life-threatening melanoma. Lorna Duffin was being prepared for emergency surgery to remove her gall bladder when Julie noticed a mole on her back and suggested it should be checked out.

Lorna said: “Julie said she thought the mole didn’t look quite right and urged me to see the doctor as soon as possible.

“As soon as I was discharged I made an appointment with my GP who referred me back to the hospital. I was then informed that the mole was a melanoma and that I would need to have it removed. Hearing it was cancer was very scary but thankfully they managed to remove all of it. As it had been caught so early and was still at 'stage one', I did not need any further treatment. I have now been fully discharged from the skin cancer clinic.

“I cannot believe how lucky I have been. If I’d not had my gall bladder removed, I would never have met Julie. How lucky I was that she was working that day and was so vigilant and went above and beyond her role. She could so easily not have said anything and I would have continued on with my life with the cancer growing and not knowing until it may have been too late.

“Julie not only saved my life, she made my future secure for my children and husband and we will never be able to thank her enough. I doubt she realises just what she did that day and the life that she saved but I will never ever forget it and will be eternally grateful.” 

Julie was presented with her UHNM Hero award by Ann-Marie Riley, Chief Nurse

Lorna has given Julie the UHNM Hero award in recognition of her outstanding care.

Julie said: "To me, I was just doing my job and what anyone else would do. Because I have had to have some checked myself I knew what I was looking for and brought it to Lorna's attention. It’s a good deed done."