Award for nurse who gave exceptional care to St Albans family

PUBLISHED: 12:00 27 November 2016

L-R: Mark Durenkamp, Imogen Durenkamp, Raquel Martins Pina and Baroness Floella Benjamin

L-R: Mark Durenkamp, Imogen Durenkamp, Raquel Martins Pina and Baroness Floella Benjamin

David Tett Photography

A dedicated nurse has won a coveted award for her exceptional care of a premature baby and her parents in a London hospital.

Raquel Martins Pina has received the Guy’s and St Thomas’ People’s Award after being nominated by Imogen Durenkamp from St Albans in recognition of the exceptional care provided to her daughter who was born prematurely at just 25 weeks.

Baby Catherine passed away 48 days later in the neonatal intensive care unit of the Evelina London Children’s Hospital.

Imogen said: “The neonatal unit did absolutely everything they could to try to save Catherine but sadly there was no happy ending. We could not have gone through such a difficult and devastating time without the help and support of the expert staff on the unit.

“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.”

Imogen added: “All the staff on the neonatal intensive care unit, including the receptionists and ward counsellor, have a very special place in our hearts.”

Raquel received her award from TV personality and Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London, Baroness Floella Benjamin at a ceremony last week. She was one of 11 individual members of staff and teams honoured at the awards.

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I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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