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Previously in a blog I told you that I had several events coming up in 2018. Well the weekend of 08/09/2018 was one that will stay with me forever.

But let me start from the years 1998- 1999, The year my youngest child was born. I found out that I was pregnant whilst walking around Warwick Castle, I had to sit down as I came over all peculiar, and said to myself something isn’t right (but it wasn’t wrong either) I recall thinking that I felt pregnant. Of course when I got home I undertook a pregnancy test and it was positive.

Throughout this pregnancy I knew that the child was carrying was going to be strong minded and will want to explore the world. Even when it came to choosing a name, I wanted it to have boldness and stature within the name, be it a boy or girl.

So the day came when this little being was to be born. For a girl, the names were narrowed down to three, they were – Megan, Grace or Kate.

8 hours and 45 mins overdue (from the due date) We were blessed with a beautiful baby girl with lashings of fluffy, almost black hair. Instantly I said she should be called Kate. From that moment on I knew she would have a different nature from that of my first born Ami.

Kate has strived throughout her life to do well. She certainly is…miss independent! At the age of two she ruled the roost. She argued if I put white socks on her, she’d want black. She would have a tantrum if I put a dress/skirt out for her to wear, she would want trousers.

What I didn’t realise at the time, was that she was developing into a mini me. By the time Kate was 11, she had learnt how to wash her own clothes and shortly after, she wanted to know how to use the iron.

Kate has always enjoyed travelling, and we have always encouraged this zest for cultural knowledge.

At the age of 19 (now) her life has been blessed by the splendour of the world. She has travelled to many European cities, to San Francisco, and her last little escapade the week before she started Uni was to Iceland to see the northern lights (in which she did).

Now this is where the heartache kicks in, it holds no prisoners…

8th September 2018 was the day I had to move her into her first student flat 80+ miles away from home. Yeah I know it’s not far, and it’s only up the motorway.

We loaded the car, it was packed but yet there was still space for more. How had she wanted to go to a new place without all of her stuff?

After a very tearful heart wrenching moment saying goodbye to her dad (He couldn’t make the trip, due to work commitments, can’t fault him for that). We were on our way to Leeds.

We arrived in Leeds with me in a somewhat stressed mood, the one way system and Kate telling me the directions too late did not help, but eventually we arrived at the accommodation.

By this point I’m only glad that we actually got there in one piece. The weather was gloomy and it had started to rain.

Kate signed in with all of her registration forms and was given her key to her first ever truly independent living accommodation.

We took all her belongings to her flat, had a quick scoot around the place, and began putting everything in their rightful place. It was beginning to look like home (well almost, if it was a little messier it would be home 😁).

 

Kate was the first person to move into the flat, the other 5 people were going to be moving in throughout the week, but she had arranged to meet up with other uni folk that night via the ‘chat site. She’s so brave!

We ventured back out to find my hotel, park the car and then go back into Leeds centre for a spot of shopping and for lunch. Needless to say, my finances were somewhat depleted by the end of that day.

Now I’m sure that many parents have experienced the emotions that I was going through. Even whilst I laid on my bed in the hotel room, and Kate was out mixing with strangers the thought of something bad happening to her was frightening. Or was it the letting go that was frightening?

Kate and I had previously arranged that she would come to my hotel for breakfast the next morning, and right on cue she was there. We discussed her new friends, and more importantly we talked about the comfort of the mattress and her first night sleep in her new home.

Plans for the day revolved around making Kate feel as settled as possible before I left her. So first thing on the list was to go and buy a mattress topper, you see she hadn’t slept that well even though she had a new luxury down duvet and pillows (well I didn’t want her having less than she did at home). My rationale was along the lined of…At least if her room was cosy she could always escape to there when or if the going gets tough.

Time was ticking and I knew I had to set a time for me to head of home. But first I thought we’d have lunch at the cosy club (her finances would probably only lean towards a good ole Wetherspoons).

Another emotional goodbye was had, she cried, I cried and we parted. Kate always knows that I will be there if and when she needs me, but the independence thing may get in the way.

So to my darling daughter Kate, I am so proud of all that you have achieved so far, but on this next journey I want to say, in the words of Celine Dion… you can come to me.

Love you very much

From Mum xx

For all those starting their university life, always remember that striving for what you believe in will be a mission, but the rewards will be well worth it.

Happy Uni life to All.

http://www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/

@leedsbeckett

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A 60th SURPRISE

2018 was going to be an amazing year. I had plans galore running through the last part of my 2017 brain. You see, I knew that I’d got a lot of saving to do to fulfill all the things I needed to do in 2018.

So here goes with my first big event…Wayne’s 60th birthday dinner.

I didn’t know where or when but I wanted to give him an evening full of past and present. I know that he loves having all of his family around him. Sadly his eldest son Dean had to look down on his dad’s big event from afar with Wayne’s parents Joyce & Eric. A blessing to those who could make the date.

It wasn’t possible to have his birthday week in which to celebrate, as family and friends were on holiday, so after a few changes it was decided that 17th August would be the chosen date (1 month after his actual birthday, but if it’s good enough for the queen then why not for Wayne?)

I knew what I wanted to do, but I just couldn’t find the right venue. After many phone calls and visits I narrowed it down to two places, either Bosworth Hall or Catthorpe Manor. I needed an elegant intimate room that was able to adapt to the needs of both adults and children a like.

My winning venue was Catthorpe Manor, it just eased elegance without being pompous. The staff were so warm and friendly and Stella was equally excited about making sure the event went as smooth as possible.

You know what it’s like when you have an idea in your head and you don’t want to deviate from the set image, well that was me!.

I wanted all the guest’s to stay over night at the hotel so that they could let their hair down, eat & drink into the early hours, sharing many memories and making new ones. Plus the fact that everyone would be there for the morning after breakfast.

Some may say this is a foolish idealism, but hey ho, such is life and you only have one life!

Invites were sneakily sent out to friends and family, and within a couple of weeks I had gained numbers. No more to be said, rooms were booked according to the guest’s needs (family rooms etc)

Once the numbers had been collated it was down to choosing the menu. This was a hard task! Vegetarians usually get a raw deal with very limited choice, and I knew that there were at least 2 attending, and I wanted them to feel as though they were special too, and chose the menu with them in mind.

Menu sorted, now for the seating plan. One would think that with such a small number that this would be an easy task…Oh no it isn’t! Who should sit where, put the children on a separate table or not…that was one question. Finally I decided to put Wayne’s friends with the birthday boy, and the other 5 families split between the other 2 tables. I think that worked well in the end.

Okay, so now we move onto the meet & greet drinks and table drinks, such an important task when trying to cater for all. I thought guests would like to start with a sparkle…I opted for my favourite tipple prosecco (Well I had to, it’s part of who I am), and for those not drinking alcohol there was a choice of elderflower sparkle and for the little ones it was orange juice.

I knew exactly how I wanted the tables to look, and I certainly didn’t want people paying for anything. So ice buckets were placed as centre pieces with wines, beers, ciders, and soft drinks. They looked amazing.

Table decorations were assembled early on the Saturday morning, when I popped out to see Ami (My decoy). But I also had surprises lined up for three other people. Ami celebrated her 30th birthday on 1st August and was in a foreign land. Kate & her friend had just got their ‘A’ level pass results. All joyous occasions. So treats awaited them in their rooms.

All slotted well into place, so all that was left was to try and get him to the venue. Using Ami’s birthday meal as an excuse we made our way up the A5.

SURPRISE

A beautiful cake lovingly made by Tory

Happy 60th Wayne x

Following cheese & biscuits plus coffee the party moved to the comfy lounge area where the merriment continued.

A huge thank you to those who kept the secret so well. To those who travelled from afar, and to the team at Catthorpe Manor who made it all go so well, you were faultless.

Catthorpe Manor is such a beautiful venue, whether you are planning a party event, a wedding, themed night, steak night/burger night, afternoon tea or team building. You will just love it! A hidden gem.

https://catthorpemanor.co.uk

2017 has been filled with many ups and downs, and that’s not taking in my health issues and surgery.

So what has happened during the year?

January, for the life of me I cannot remember anything out of the ordinary happening. Another year without my mother! Oh I have just remembered that Amis best friend Clare gave birth to her beautiful daughter. Exciting times ahead for clares family.

 February, still await a date for surgery (waited for this urgent appointment since November  2016, not that urgent I hear you cry.

 March, nothing special happened, although I stand to be corrected by others 😁

 April  awe, My boys 1st birthday, such a lovely day in which I ended up making the cake last minute (thanks to the original person letting Ami down), but I must say…it was okay! Lots of effort from the other grandparents saw a table of delights.

This month also saw a second pre-assessment for my Surgery, say no more.

May knowing that Ami & Joe will be getting married in 2018, I put down to work 6 days a week to help fund the big day, knowing that after my Surgery I wouldn’t be able to work for a while.

 June hooray, My surgery date was set for the end of the month, time to get my affairs into order and write heart felt letters to my girls (just in case). My girls have done so well and make me so proud to say…they are my daughter’s.

My surgery took a little longer than first thought 3.5 hours of micro surgery. Yippee I woke up! The nursing care was not of my own standard, and believe me, if you need a little Rottweiler fighting your corner Ami is your woman. Discharge time came and to my horror the letter said I needed a follow-up with oncology, I‘m sure you can imagine the trauma and despair that rushed through my being. There was no way that I was leaving the ward without answers. A doctor came to see me and assured me that it was a typo! It should of read otologist. Phew! It just goes to show that if any of you find yourself unsure of what has been explained…question and question again.

My recuperation started as soon as I got home, Wayne was an absolute star! Shush…i dont want him hearing about these compliments his ego is big enough already haha.

July continued with me getting better, hospital visits and actually sitting in my garden, doing bugger all but reading, eating goodies that my work colleagues bought as a get well soon present ‘get your arse back to work soon, only joking…they didn’t want me back until fully recovered. #greatgirls

My youngest purchased her first car, Another achievement in such a short time on this earth, proud mummy moment.

One of my nurse friends Kate, came to stay with me (for her benefit as she thought I still wasn’t well). She made me laugh and boy can she talk! Anti-biotics and steroids finished saw me having a glass or two of #prosecco with her.

August the first is always a blessed date for me, My eldest was born on this date. 

More hospital appointments came my way.

September a short break away to the lakes was long overdue (approx 20 years since i had last stayed there, absolutely  stunning place, where the pressures of the world dissolve. Stayed in a quirky little ‘log house’.

lovely celebrations were had as my youngest turned 18. This cake was not as artistic as Eddie’s, but Kate liked it.

 23rd was an absolute delight. I along with Kate, her friends and their mums saw a very talented friend #ZachMorley play the lead character in #lesMiserable at the #littleTheatre #Leicester. He was sensational. A curry before hand and drinks pre Zachs performance and to celebrate his 18th birthday. A wonderful evening. 

Beautiful girls…friends forever i hope x 

October more hospital appointments! Extra duty at work started again (daughter’s wedding fund).
Had my nephew for a few days, he’s 13 and so funny.

A spur of the moment weekend trip was arranged to go to a little village called cley-next-to-sea, (very beautiful). Loved my time there, especially all the little stop offs along the way #Norfolk. Sea side fish & chips, open vast spaces, wind in your hair…bliss.

On the way home we decided to stop off to meet some Lincoln friends at Trev & Lorraines pub/restaurant #TheMall #WoodhallSpa (great food), and the #prosecco flowed. Great to see Bev, Mark, Arzu and the hosts. Its a great place to visit, lovely shops and take a look at the kinema in the woods, great little walk.

Towards the end of Oct..OMG I attended a gynae-oncology symposium, UHL have some amazing forward thinking, technique facilitating surgeons. I would put my life in their hands.  Extended surgery can offer great outcomes. So blessed to work with these guys.
November had an awesome weekend with my friend in Lincoln… never had I seen a badger so close up (her back garden).

The next day saw more of mother nature at Donna Nook, seals giving birth…amazing, it was like a maternity unit for seals/pups.

 

My favourite month of the year December   I always love the fun that ends the year. This December was no exception. Fast past, juggling Xmas shopping, holiday, a visit to our capital #London. 

My birthday week consisted of a trip to Spain, the festivities of The Immaculate Conception was in full flow in #DayaVeija. The beach at #Guardamar was so calm and tranquil. The harbour had ‘I can only dream of yatchs’, and superb buildings, highlighting the splendour of #Alicante.

The light switch on in Blaby saw excitement on children’s faces, cheap Christmas tat was in abundance. 

A little weekend away to #London with my good friend @BeverleyNorman. Much fun, laughter and #prosecco ever after😁 So lovely that @Kaffando managed to meet up for a glass of water with us…sorry Kath no sparkle for you my dear. 

If you get the chance to visit @ViniItaliani Covent garden, Greenwich or south Kensington let them choose a sparkle for you, Bruno shared a lovely #Franciacorta with us… 

Christmas week was not as busy as expected, empty slots not utilising our time to the max. It had previously been hectic and fraught with issues, time for a break from work was calling. Which promptly took us to the next part of our wind down time!

A spontaneous  moment saw a cheap and cheerful ‘let your hair down’ work get together. Lydia was poorly, but we saved her a seat and toasted to her health.

It’s a magical time at work when the Xmas songs are playing on the radio In the waiting area, those that don’t like putting their tree up until Xmas is upon them start to lighten up… time for a little game after clinic had finished… frog Olympics! Christmas cracker fun. 

Christmas came with ease, this year was so chilled, I hardly had anything to do. Wayne did the full Christmas dinner (boxing day) for both families…he did good, cooking for 12 is not easy. The children enjoyed their presents, as did I (A knew phone, yipee).

So here we are, Christmas is a week behind us and we await the chimes from #BigBen at midnight, wish our nearest and dearest a happy New year, think of those who are sadly no longer with us and those who are poorly. 

I send much love to all those who have shared my year through its highs and lows. And raise a glass of #sparkle as we leap forward into 2018. 

HAPPY NEW YEAR, salute to 2018

Well what a year 2016 has been! It didn’t start too well health wise as I was hospitalised for 3 days in January. That was a horrible experience, a dreadful ward where not all guidelines were followed “say no more”. But the future was bright. 

February was a good month, Ami & Joe held their engagement party at Spondon Cricket Club. Joe was captain for the team so it was deemed the ideal venue. I attempted and successfully made their engagement cake (nothing like Mary Berry but it was made with love. Over 100 friends and family attended, such a joyous occasion. The highlight for me was the surprise firework display put on by Joes’ dad ‘Richard’ & brother ‘Ben’… Ami has always loved fireworks and this was just perfect for her. 

March also held a very special event, out of a lot of heartache for my friend Lesley who’s beautiful daughter Tash had been struck by Cancer. Tash was one of the teenage cancer statistic, an awful accolade to have hanging over ones head! Tash fought hard, endured side effects that most would have thrown the towel in and say…I give up! But not Tash, she gave as good as she got and went into remission, big cheers I hear you cry! that’s not all, This amazing young lady supported her friend who arranged a charity ball in aid of the teenage cancer trust, and it was a huge success. We as in my friends from Lincoln naturally supported the venue, the ladies all looked stunning and the guys very handsome in their dinner suits. We danced until the early hours of the morning, and naturally toasted the event and the fact that Lesley had got her daughter back to full health. So proud of you Tash and Lesley xx

April Oh my goodness! this was a mixture of sadness and sheer delight. Ades’ father had been taken into hospital after a routine well man blood test showed extremely low platelets, and had to undergo various tests which revealed that he had got Acute Myloid Leukaemia (AML). This was a huge shock as there were no signs of any illness.

Whilst Richard (Dick) was battling with this diagnosis Ami went into Labour (see previous post). This was the day that changed my life! my grandson Edward was born, there is no greater love! Since this day I and the rest of the family have been blessed with many smiles. 

As for Dick, he’s a tough cookie and is hanging on in there as a palliative patient who is loved immensely and supported by his family.x 

May Another special occasion arose in the form of Sam & Phils engagement (another wedding to look forward to). 

A little trip to theatre to see legally blonde with my girls, that was a great production! thanks for my mothers day present girls x love you x

My friend Kate (a fellow nurse who introduced herself to me on a Ryanair flight and we’ve been friends ever since) came to stay for the weekend. Why is it that sometimes a weekend isn’t long enough to talk? lots of sparkle was drank during that time. 

June Saw  another weekend away with Wayne, Richard & Gail, this time it was Whitby and a few other little stop offs. I love going away with them, always full of laughter, sarcasm and micky taking. 

This month also saw the last of Kates’ GCSE exams… I can’t recall being inundated with the amount of work the kids of today have to endure. Credit to Kate and her friends as they all did extremely well, lots of A* achieved. Now they have the pressures of doing their A levels…don’t be too hard on them mum’s & dad’s! So proud to see her get an award later in the year x 

Spondon Cricket club put on a wonderful ‘proms on the pitch’ event. It was very overcast but a few sea shantys and we were truly British…forget the weather. 

July… Well deserved Annual leave. Enough said! Sun, sea, sparkle and time to relax in Spain. I needed that holiday. Thank you Kate & Wayne for a lovely 2 weeks. 

August brought with it the wedding of the year and a 60th birthday celebration. 

Gary & Tory didn’t have a conventional wedding, the wedding was outdoors with a backdrop of our beautiful countryside with narrow boats cruising along the canal… perfect! the reception was in a tipee with gloriously filled hampers on each table. Oh and then there were the competitive games!!! 

The 60th birthday celebrations came about by accident! I was the wrong Dawn haha, my cousins wife Chris was to have a surprise party, her daughters invited me thinking that I (in their dad’s phone) was in fact an old school friend. so actually I could have been seen as a gate crasher…so funny! 

September  not all good! another hospital admission but this time I was told I would need emergency surgery to remove part of my bowel, well I wasn’t having any of that thank you very much! being a nurse give’s you a little head start in knowing what can and cannot be done. The consultant and I decided that sticking to the sepsis pathway we should see how I respond to 5 days of IV antibiotics in hospital and 11 days of oral antibiotics at .. thankfully the 5 days in hospital was enough for me to be discharged with open access. That also wasn’t going to happen as ‘the boy’ ‘love of my life’ was due to be christened in two days time! I wasn’t going back into hospital. 

Edwards big day came, a beautiful service at the church where Amis’ dad and I were married, and where Ami & Kate were also christened. Fond memories evoked! Edward was blessed with a celebratory party at Cosby golf club (his great grandpa would have been so proud of the venue choice as this was his golf club). The sun shone and we all had a fabulous day, No alcohol for me of course due to the antibiotics. 

October another happy occasion this month, Amis’ best friend had a baby shower. Clare will be a fabulous mummy to her awaiting daughter Kacie-Jane who is due to grace our world in January. x

November A month in which to wind down, reflect and get ready for Christmas. 

 December I love this month, my favourite time of the year. My birthday starts the ball rolling, I am always blessed with many beautiful cards and presents. There was a meet up for a family meal with my nephew, his wife and son Luca, who is so excited about santa coming. But the day that means the most to me is when I’m back in church for the christingle service. This service tells of the true meaning of Christmas and not that you need a church in order to refect on the past year but I when there it seems most appropriate. This year I had my girls with me (Ami always goes, Kate has missed a few years) and more importantly it was another first for Edward. Traditions are started by parents and I hope this will be one that continues throughout his life also. 

Today 31st December  2016 we see the year out… there have been highs and lows, but one aspect of my life I couldn’t live without are having those I hold dear to me sharing the years. So on that note I raise a glass to my wonderful family, my work family (often sounding board) and my dearest friends who keep me amused, cheer me when I’m at a low, share my highs, and who are there when the needs arise without living in each others pockets. To you all I send much love and wish you a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2017. 

Dawn Stewart x 


 

The day my life changed

23 weeks ago something spectacular changed my life.

On the 7th April my daughters waters started to leak, for those of you who dont know what that means, i will explain… my eldest Daughter was about to give birth. She had a few inconsistencies, and needless to say she had been to the hospital and was advised to go home and ring them the next day to to see if a bed is available for induction.

Ami was admitted to hospital on 8th April, she was admitted to the birthing centre for her planned water birth.The birthing centre had a beautiful room that was equipped with all that Ami, Joe (her partner and soon to be daddy) and myself (mum and birthing partner) needed.

At 17.30 the midwife felt for the babys position and listened to heart beat, happy baby. Phew! As a mum watching your baby being in pain and understanding all that could go wrong is nerve wrecking to say the least.

At 18.00hours a different midwife listened for the babies heartbeat & examined Ami, she informed us that Ami had only dialated 2-3 cm and was not in established labour. She felt that more fluid was there. Time was pressing now and we were all a little concerned for both Ami and the baby.

18.55pm the midwife gave Ami the option of being induced now or waiting till 22.30pm (the maximum 24 hour period) the midwife didn’t want to go beyond that time, and told us that the baby will be fine. The midwife informed us that the delivery suite might be busy at 22.30 and cannot guarantee induction can be achieved at that time. Ami chose to wait to give a chance to dilate naturally.

20.15 came and at that point the midwives changed over shift, and the night duty midwife introduced herself to us. She was lovely and put Ami at ease. Ami was given her first lot of analgesia (Paracetamol and dihydrocodiene).

At 23.15 hours another midwife came to examine Ami, are you keeping up with how many different midwives have been involved so far? Continuity and reassurance had been lost! This midwife listened to baby’s heartbeat, only 2cm! (Not 2-3 cm as informed at 18.00 hours) She suggested that Ami should go to labour ward for induction via an Intravenous drip. I recall asking her if she could feel any fluid upon the examination, she said she couldn’t. A defensive mum then came to the forefront! In a sturn voice i advised her that the 2nd midwife said she could (conflicting advice). This midwife said she would re-examine Ami before the fluids went up (As a mum and nurse I knew only too well that she would have to be monitored very closely when the induction started).
23.45pm arrived and Ami was transfered from the birthing suite to the delivery suite whilst waiting for a room in labour suite. Clinging to the words of the 2nd midwife I was inwardly panicking as it had passed the 24 hour period, but I couldn’t let Ami see my concern.
At 00.30 an anaesthetist finally came to canulate & take bloods from Ami. This in itself was a huge thing for Ami as she is needle phobic and required some Lidocaine before the cannula insertion. A Full blood count and a group and save (FBC G&S) was taken.
Now 4 hours over the 24hours originally stated (02.25) student midwife attached Ami to a monitor to listen and check the baby’s heart beat.

03.50 yet another midwife ( 4 and a student so far) introduced herself to us. She proceeded to examine once again, Ami was still only 3cm dilated, and the waters had not broken. There was a sack in front of our soon to be precious ones head. There was an air of urgency in the midwifes voice when she said…”I will get a senior midwife to break the waters”. I asked does this mean she won’t need the ocytocin? her response was… “Ami will probably go into labour by herself”.

Time was ticking yet appeared to be standing still. Ami at this point was so very tired and in excruciating pain, Joe and I were flagging, but no way on this earth was I going to allow my baby girl and my future grandson (oh I didn’t tell you that the baby was a boy) was going to suffer in any way shape or for, hence why I can recall all these facts… ” I documented everything”.

Finally At 05.05 a senior midwife took over Ami’s care and we were moved to room 8. She then proceeded to wire Ami to a heart monitoring machine. Her aim was to listen to baby’s heart beat for 20 mins before breaking the waters.

05.37 the midwife (the one before the senior) came back to look after Ami. She said she had spoken to the doctor, they are going to break the waters before starting a drip.

I felt totally inadequate as a mum at this point, no matter how much Joe & I massaged Amis’ back the pain was not dispersing. Eventually at 05.45 (now 9th April 2016) the gas and air started as did the breaking of the waters. The breaking of the waters did not go as planned!

The midwife couldn’t break the waters with the first instrument, so she used (a wire/probe) and left the clip attached in the hope it will make the piercing as it stretched and she would remove after a while.

All of us flagging as the sun was rising at 06.00 am. Amis’ obsevasions were good. Her oxygen levels were 100% and her pulse was at an acceptable 82bpm.

Alas 07.35am saw another shift change and we were blessed with a wonderful, soul restoring Midwife called Lorraine who took over Amis’ care. She felt the contraction and all seemed to be slotting into place.

The induction commenced, but due to the nature of the drug it had to start off with a small amount being administered. By lunchtime we (mum & partner) felt a little more of use to Ami. The contractions started to come thick and fast, Lorraine reassured Ami constantly and carried much warmth and empathy within her. Something I was glad to see.

At 14.07 hours on 09/04/2016 my daughter gave her final push and safely delivered her and Joes beautiful baby boy weighing 3.3kg… Welcome to our world Edward James Ashdown-Bowles. I was immensely proud of Joe, who in his mind didn’t think he could stand the sight of blood, when I pursueded him to cut the cord. Thrilled!

From that day I have known a love that I never thought I would replicate since giving birth to my own two girls. This little boy has changed my life, dare I say…calmed me down!
This nannies love will always remain with him.

Today I received a lovely little book (along with a smashing little bag, see the last picture below) from my friends Stephen and Christine Hyne. Stephen “who is such a thoughtful chap” knows how much I love my grandson also called Edward (as most grandparents love their offsprings), and that it gives me great pleasure reading to him. 

I think that children need their minds to be active and they should be encouraged to read at an early age. Now I’m not saying that my grandson is a whizz at reading just yet…”well he is only 23 weeks old”, but he understands the tones in ones voice and appears to take it all in when being read to. 

Anyway, I digress a little, getting back to the book. The story is about a little boy and a visit to the dentist, now this isn’t any little boy, oh no! Robey was a boy who filled the mind of a real life little boy. At the age of 11 Edward Saunders wrote and illustrated ‘ the Dental appointment’. He dreamed that one day he would have his own book published

Sadly, Edward was taken from this world at the very young age of 18 by contracting meningitis without ever taking credit for his talents as an author. Please see the attached meningitis awareness picture below. 

Edwards parents and sister strived  and succeeded to make his dream a reality, and along with many others have published ‘Robey and the dentist’. How superb is that! A real testimony to him that will live on. 

His family also continue to raise awareness of Meningitis, “to them I take my hat off”,  and through reading the leaflet attached, and sharing the story with others you too can help spread the importance of early detection along with knowing the signs of MENINGITIS. 

I will love reading this book to my grandson and will certainly encourage my eldest daughter Ami to watch out for the early signs in her child and the other children she cares for. And I will also ask my youngest daughter Kate to read the leaflet (especially as she is planning on going to university, and will be out of mothers sight). In fact when Kate goes to uni, all sorts of health awareness leaflets will be accompanying her πŸ˜€

Thank you Stephen and Christine for the gift of the wonderfully illustrated book and to Edwards family for including the leaflet. Much love is sent your way x 

Love from Dawn xx

Where do I begin? Well as you know I am an avid tweeter (70k + tweets), I blog far less these days as time restrictions take over. However, there is a remarkable couple on twitter known as @GrangerKate & @PointerChris I know there are many more, but the reason for choosing them is down to Kates journey throughout her illness (see my previous blog from Aug 14).
Kate not only had her illness to deal with, but also the time bomb that accompanies it. Her story was told when she was a guest speaker at University Hospitals of Leicester (UHL) @Leic_hospitals on her first stop of her tour. #hellomynameis #HMNItour. Kates experience encouraged her to initiate this amazing project. She found as a patient that often health care staff (doctors & nurses included) failed to introduce themselves, which caused great frustration and annoyance to her (rightly so). This took Kate & Chris on a journey of trying to encourage staff to introduce them self to their patients. How did they do it? Well her story can be told in her books, but I can tell you that the outcome from this journey… the “# Hello my name is…” was born.
Now as a nurse I reflected on what she said wayyyyyyy back, 2013/14 and found that it is really difficult to look miserable when introducing yourself to a patient if you start it with… hello my name is, I automatically smile (you should try it!).
The talk today (17/06/15) witnessed many emotions from the jammed packed lecture theatre audience, of which mine was the overwhelming feeling of wanting her legacy to live on. Dr Kate Granger has started a phenomenal campaign in which to be honest we as a human being shouldn’t need prompting on, but often many do. Just think about it! It takes seconds to introduce yourself, and if you smile whilst doing this the patient and not forgetting their loved ones will react in a positive manner. At the end of the day, all our patients should be treated with empathy & compassion, so let’s make it happen, let’s make people feel like a human being and not like a number or illness.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog in honour of Kate. Below are a few pictures of today’s event.
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I got to meet Dr Kate Granger and a newbie to twitter Julie Bennett. Hello ladies.
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Our CEO Mr John Adler presenting the faces behind UHL’s #hellomynameis campaign.
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Kates books are available on http://www.amazon.co.uk or read more on her website http://theothersidestory.co.uk/