PATIENTS and families paid a remarkable tribute to Senior Leukaemia Sister Tracy Twyman at the Sheffield Children’s Hospital awards night.
With the help of the Sheffield Telegraph, the hospital this year launched the new People’s Choice Award – and Tracy received more than 70 nominations.
Tracy, who has been at the hospital since 2000 and in her current role since 2001, was clearly moved as she collected her award from nine-year-old leukaemia patient Ellie Thompson, one of the many who had put her name forward.
Tracy said this week: “When I heard just how many people had voted for me, I was absolutely flabbergasted to be honest.
“But it’s not just for me, or even just for my team, it’s for the whole hospital.
“It’s an incredible place to work and we all work really closely with each other. I only have to call another department and people are bending over backwards to help whenever they can. I couldn’t do my job without all the other people around me.
“I always try to think about how I would want my own children to be treated and if you do that, I don’t think you can go far wrong.
“It can be a very daunting and tiring journey for children as the days stretch into weeks, months and even years during their treatment.
“All we want to do is help the children and their families make that journey and be able to resume a normal life at the end of it. They will never forget it but we try to help them put it behind them.’’
Ellie Thompson, from Jordanthorpe, was eight when she was diagnosed with leukaemia in February last year. She has another 14 months of treatment ahead.
She wrote a speech for the presentation at the We Can Awards and announced Tracy as the winner to huge applause.
Mum Lindsey said: “Before Ellie was diagnosed, she was told she would have to have a bone marrow test and was naturally very frightened. She went to see Tracy at the Leukaemia Clinic and she came away a different little girl.
“Tracy has been an incredible support and it’s hard to put into words just what it means when you have so many other things to think about.
“Ellie has dealt with everything along the way but she does get frightened. Tracy has a really calming way of talking to her and the other children and they respond to it.
“They also have days when they are feeling down and Tracy will sometimes behave like a complete fruitcake to bring them out of it. She will do whatever it takes to get them through. She’s amazing.’’
Special guest Ashes to Ashes star Dean Andrews helped chief executive Simon Morritt hand over the other awards.
The Award Winners
We Can Innovate (outstanding contribution to improving services/innovation): Embrace Transport Team.
We Can Deliver (best contribution in supporting delivery of direct care): support workers Linda Simnett and Martine Smith, Helena Specialist Nursing Team.
We Can Support (best contribution from a non-clinical support service): Beryl Welburn, PACT Coordinator.
We Can Volunteer (best contribution made by a volunteer): Friends of the Children’s Hospital shop volunteers.
We Can Keep You Safe (Best contribution to patient safety/experience): Julie Baker and the Burns Team.
The Chairman’s Award: Kevin Hartshorn, play specialist.