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UHNM Chief Executive Award Winner: Kirsty Lazenby

A Critical Care Nurse left her colleagues ‘in awe’ after supporting a young family through the end-of-life care of a parent.

Kirsty Lazenby, an organ donation nurse on Royal Stoke’s Critical Care Unit, received a UHNM Chief Executive’s Award after ‘going above and beyond’ in helping the family come to terms with the devastating news.

She was nominated for the award by colleague and staff nurse Zoe Gratton.

Zoe said: “I have worked at UHNM for eight years and have experienced both saddening and elating moments. However these shifts were the hardest I have experienced in my career.

“The team were looking after a patient where a decision was made to proceed with end-of-life care. This is a decision that is sadly made regularly within the Critical Care Unit, but with this particular patient, three of their five children were under the age of ten.

“Kirsty broke the news to the older members of the family so professionally, calmly and without fault that I was in awe. The relatives then felt so overwhelmed that Kirsty had offered to speak to the children when they would be visiting their parent on the Unit, explaining to them that they would not be coming home, and they were going to die that day.

“Kirsty came in on her day off to do this, instantly building a beautiful rapport with the children. She broke the news, remaining calm and empathetic throughout and going out of her way to provide exactly what the children wanted for their parent in their final moments.

“She took lockets of hair, heartbeat readings and fingerprints for each child and family member to treasure as well as taking each child aside and making crocheted hearts with them, teaching them a skill for life. She helped ensure each family member was supported during their time with their relative, something I was unable to do due to my clinical demands in looking after such a sick patient.

“I have known Kirsty for a number of years and have worked closely with her before, however without her support and expertise I would not have been able to cope with these shifts. I cannot fault Kirsty and I can not sing her praises high enough. I have dealt with end-of-life cases many times, but never have I been in the presence of a staff member who has provided the most beautiful ever lasting final moments for a family with young children.”

After receiving her award Kirsty said: “It’s lovely to receive this award. We don’t come to work for the recognition of what we do, but when you do receive something, especially from a colleague who you work alongside, it’s really special.”