A mental health nurse from Oxford who helped a suicidal patient turn her life around is in the running for a national award.
Kelly Hayes has been nominated in the Patients Choice category of the Nursing Standard Nurse Awards in recognition of her care and compassion.
She was put forward by her patient Susan Hemming, who has suffered from mental health problems all her adult life.
When she first met Kelly – an Oxford Health NHS Trust nurse – two years ago, Susan was at rock bottom after being unable to go to university because of dyslexia.
“I had given up on life,” said Susan. “I was reverting to my anorexia, self-harming daily, feeling suicidal and without any hope.
“Kelly believed in me. Every time I was ready to give up on life she convinced me life hadn’t given up on me yet and neither had she.”
Kelly convinced Susan to sit the entrance test for a college course, and though she failed, Kelly encouraged her to try again.
Susan got a tutor and studied hard, and is now at university studying occupational therapy.
“I wouldn’t be alive today if it wasn’t for Kelly,” Susan added.
“I know if she has done all this for me, there are many more people she has given a lifeline and hope to, and I am eternally grateful for her.
“Nobody in my life believed I could do it, least of all me, except for Kelly that is.”
Kelly said: “It is such an honour to be nominated, and even more so to be shortlisted.
“Even though Susan is very capable, caring and talented, she found it difficult to look to the future, so I encouraged her to follow her dream and I kept the positivity going when she found that hard.
“Her hard work, ability and dedication have led to her achieving her goal and I am so very pleased for her.”
Voting is underway for the awards, and votes can be cast as nurseawards.co.uk/740 until April 29.
Kelly will find out if she has won at a ceremony at The Savoy in London on May 1.