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For Immediate Release
June 20 , 2013
LONDON, Ontario – When London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) patient Diane Bates sat down to prepare her nominating letter for the ‘Nurse of the Year’ award for the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America, there was simply no way she could nominate just one of the ‘angels’ who have cared for her since her diagnosis in 2010. So she decided to nominate them all!
Myasthenia Gravis (MG) is a rare neurological disorder, characterized by muscles weakness, drooping eyelids, double vision and difficulty in chewing and swallowing, among other troubling symptoms. Because this disorder isn’t common, there is little attention paid to it in standard nursing curriculum. For the nurses on the inpatient neurology ward at University Hospital (UH), this has meant that much of their understanding of the disorder has been learned hands-on, with teamwork and collaboration playing a key role in identifying and caring for patients’ unique needs.
Bates has been living with MG since 2010, and recently spent six months in hospital with complications from the condition. In her nomination letter she wrote, “It is said that angels come in various shapes and sizes. The nurses on the seventh floor of LHSC’s University Hospital are just that – angels! They went above and beyond, showing compassion and exceptional caring, making me feel as though I was the only patient they had to tend to, and encouraging me every step of the was that life is worth living.”
Today – which happens to be National Neurosciences Nurses day – these seventh floor ‘angels’ were surprised when they learn that not only did Bates nominate them for the ‘Nurse of the Year’ honour, but that in fact, they won the award. Bates, along with Wilma Koopman, a nurse practitioner in the Neuromuscular Clinic (and the only other Canadian to ever win this honour) presented the team with their award statue at a reception held on the neurosciences ward, thanking them for their commitment and dedication to supporting MG patients and their loved ones.
“It is wonderful to see this team of neuroscience nurses nominated for an international award by not only one of their peers, but also a patient who wanted to ensure they were recognized for the exceptional care she received from them,” said Bonnie Adamson, LHSC President and CEO. “Myasthenia Gravis is a complex condition which presents challenges as unique as the patients themselves. This award recognizes the care, concern and commitment exhibited by each member of this team in ensuring patients are receiving the best and most appropriate care available.”
Said Bates, “I have nothing but praise for these nurses. They look at each person as a valued individual with a condition that can be assisted back to good health. It takes more than book knowledge to restore life in a human being. These angels exemplify that philosophy.”
Note – June is International Myasthenia Gravis Awareness Month
About London Health Sciences Centre
London Health Sciences Centre has been at the forefront of medicine in Canada for 138 years and offers the broadest range of specialized clinical services in Ontario. Building on the traditions of its founding hospitals to provide compassionate care in an academic teaching setting, London Health Sciences Centre is home to Children’s Hospital, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital, the Kidney Care Centre, two family medical centres, and two research institutes – Children’s Health Research Institute and Lawson Health Research Institute. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, London Health Sciences Centre has a history of over 65 international and national firsts and attracts top clinicians and researchers from around the world. As a regional referral centre, London Health Sciences Centre cares for the most medically complex patients including critically injured adults and children in southwestern Ontario and beyond. The hospital’s nearly 15,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers provide care for more than one million patient visits a year. For more information visit www.lhsc.on.ca
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For media inquiries contact:
Corporate Communications and Public Relations
London Health Sciences Centre
519-685-8500, ext. 74772
Call LHSC Switchboard at 519-685-8500 and ask to page the communication consultant on-call