A neonatal nurse who changed her shift pattern to ensure she could provide end-of-life care for a premature baby has been given a St Guy’s and St Thomas’ award, writes Kirsty Purnell.
Raquel Martins Pina, a senior staff nurse on the Intensive Care Unit at the Evelina London Children’s Hospital, won the People’s Choice category at the annual Trust Awards on November 18.
She was nominated for the award by baby Catherine’s mum, Imogen Durenkamp, in recognition of the exceptional care provided to her daughter.
Catherine was born 25 days prematurely and passed away 48 days later on the unit.
“The Neonatal Unit did absolutely everything they could to try to save Catherine but sadly there was no happy ending,” said Imogen, from St Albans.
“Raquel looked after Catherine, my husband and me in our last three days together as a family. She could not do enough for us, even changing her shifts around so she could continue to care for Catherine right up to the end.
“When Catherine died, Raquel sat patiently with us and helped us to bathe and dress her. She was kind, compassionate, calm and understanding, helping us through something no parent should ever have to go through.”
Raquel, who has been a nurse for seven years, was one of eleven St Guy’s and St Thomas’ staff members and teams to be honoured for their achievements.
“It was very emotional seeing Mark and Imogen Durenkamp again at the awards evening as I haven’t seen them since Catherine passed away,” said Raquel, who was presented with her award by Baroness Floella Benjamin OBE, Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London, “It’s wonderful to get this
kind of recognition and to know that I have touched someone’s life in such a deep way.”
Amanda Pritchard, Chief Executive of Guy’s and St Thomas ‘ NHS Foundation Trust, said: ““Our winners are perfect examples of the Trust values we hold dear. Putting the patient first must be at the heart of everything we do.”