A King’s College Hospital midwife who goes above and beyond the call of duty has won a prestigious award after being nominated by a Peckham mother.
Michelle Harrison has been awarded the Emma’s Diary Mums’ Midwife of the Year 2017 award for the London region after being nominated by mum Michelle Cottle.
Clinical psychologist Michelle Cottle nominated midwife Michelle as a show of gratitude after she showed remarkable support following the death of her daughter, Orla.
Sadly Orla was stillborn at 37+2 weeks, following a smooth and healthy pregnancy. It was midwife Michelle’s continual level of support and guidance during the tragic time that helped Michelle and her husband Andy to grieve, retain precious memories of Orla and have hope for the future.
Michelle is currently 25 weeks pregnant with her second baby and, due to working in a caseload team, midwife Michelle has managed to provide continuity of care throughout both pregnancies, which has contributed hugely to how Michelle has coped emotionally since losing Orla and embarking on pregnancy after loss.
“I just felt like Michelle went above and beyond what a normal midwife would do in those circumstances; she was really supportive during the birth and afterwards as well,” said 35-year-old Michelle who lives in Peckham Rye with her husband Andy, 44, who works as a finance director.
“When we found out Orla had died, Michelle went above and beyond to be by our sides throughout the labour and remained to complete all the relevant paperwork and ensure we made as many precious memories as we could.
“If it wasn’t for Michelle we might not have a lock of Orla’s hair, or the ceramic footprints that we so treasure.
“She came to the funeral, and she gave us hope at a time where we just felt like the world had ended. We wouldn’t have survived the first few months without her.
“I’ve never felt on my own; I’ve always felt like she’s there by my side.”
The prestigious award is one of the Royal College of Midwives’ (RCM) Annual Midwifery Awards, recognising the remarkable work done by inspiring midwives across the country.
Michelle, who works for King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, added: “I have been a midwife for nearly 20 years and as a midwife I have always wanted to provide the best care for every woman I care for.
“You never do this for any reward; a midwife’s ‘reward’ comes from helping a family through a massive transition into parenthood and seeing them happy and healthy at the end of each journey.
“When this does not happen in the way you hope, it is a distressing experience for all. I only hope in these circumstances to help the mother and family through as best I can.
“Helping them to deal with their grief, shock and immense sorrow. Giving them strength to continue and dare to believe they will one day be a complete family.
“I am in awe of Michelle, and her husband Andy, that in the midst of their grief they were able to nominate me for this award.
“They are truly amazing in the way they have coped with losing Orla and are an inspiration to me and other midwives and mothers experiencing loss.
The RCM’s Annual Awards, now in its fifteenth year, will be hosted by popular news and TV presenter and mother-of-two Kate Silverton on March 7.
Both Michelles will attend the central London awards ceremony where midwife Michelle will collect her trophy and find out who, out of the seven regional winners, will be awarded the overall national winner.