International Nurses’ Day: A patient shares how his nurse saved his life

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As part of International Nurses’ Day on 12 May we spoke to John Slater, from Notts and his family, about the exceptional care he received from our community matron, who he says saved his life.

International Nurses’ Day is an opportunity to share stories about the incredible work of nursing staff across the UK.

Katharine Dale is a Community Matron at Nottinghamshire Healthcare and has been supporting John with a heart condition and diabetes for seven months.

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On a visit a few months ago, she recognised how unwell John was and called an ambulance, which ultimately led to John having a pacemaker fitted which highly likely saved his life. When Katharine visited she noticed he was extremely tired, more breathless than normal, had a slow heart rate and low oxygen saturations.

Photo of JohnPhoto of John
Photo of John

John said:

“Katharine saved my life. Her support has been brilliant. I couldn’t have managed without her. She is one of the best things that’s happened to me.

“She came to see me and straight away noticed my condition wasn’t very good and knew I needed to have an ECG and to be monitored. She called the ambulance and I was taken to the hospital and later that week I was fitted with the pacemaker.

“Without her visit and recognising how ill I was I would have deteriorated and probably not be here today. She was a godsend.”

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“I am more than grateful to her, I could never thank her enough. It’s made a big difference to my life.”

Since the pacemaker has been fitted John has noticed a real difference. He used to be on oxygen 24-7 but now he mainly manages without it.

Jayne Musgrove John’s daughter said:

“Katharine is such a lovely caring person and an outstanding nurse. Having Katharine in our lives felt like having the hospital visit dad at home, only better.

“Dad's doing really well now, all thanks to Katharine, without a doubt! I can’t put into words how thankful I am that we had her in our lives. If we hadn’t had her, my dad wouldn’t be here.

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“Her last visit was very emotional, we will miss her! But we know we can contact her if things change, which means the world to us.”

Diane Hull, Executive Director of Nursing, AHPs and Quality said:

“International Nurses’ Day is another opportunity to highlight nurses providing excellent care and to say thank you. It is fantastic to hear from John about the outstanding care he has received and how Katharine used her expertise to recognise he needed urgent help.

"Huge well done to Katharine and other nursing colleagues going above and beyond to support our patients. Hearing about this sort of care is what makes us very proud.”