Tears of joy as Best of Health Awards shine spotlight on unsung heroes

Winner of Hospital Nurse of the Year Pat Harding, from Queen Alexandra Hospital, receives her award from Leeanne Slade, of Wave 105. ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (142296-3826)
Winner of Hospital Nurse of the Year Pat Harding, from Queen Alexandra Hospital, receives her award from Leeanne Slade, of Wave 105. ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (142296-3826)
Jackie Evans                        Picture : Habibur Rahman

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‘SHE was the angel who nursed me and helped save my life’.

These are the kind and heartfelt words spoken by a patient who nominated nurse Pat Harding for a Best of Health Award.

141589-20 MY health awards'News Health Awards, Guidlhall Portsmoutjh.'Paul Morgan with Ian Douglas, Runner-Up, Innovation of the Year.'Pic Mick Young'17/10/2014 PPP-141018-012406006

141589-20 MY health awards'News Health Awards, Guidlhall Portsmoutjh.'Paul Morgan with Ian Douglas, Runner-Up, Innovation of the Year.'Pic Mick Young'17/10/2014 PPP-141018-012406006

And at last night’s ceremony in the Portsmouth Guildhall, Pat was crowned winner of the Hospital Nurse of the Year category.

John Bourke, 78, put her forward for the annual award.

He said: ‘I couldn’t have wished for a better nurse.

‘I almost died, but Pat was extremely supportive and nursed me to better health.

141589-27 MY health awards'News Health Awards, Guidlhall Portsmoutjh.'Castle Dental Practise,Winner, Dental Practise of the Year.'Pic Mick Young'17/10/2014 PPP-141018-012519006

141589-27 MY health awards'News Health Awards, Guidlhall Portsmoutjh.'Castle Dental Practise,Winner, Dental Practise of the Year.'Pic Mick Young'17/10/2014 PPP-141018-012519006

‘I can’t speak highly enough of Pat, she was my angel who really took care of me.

‘And it wasn’t just me, I saw her give the same care to the other patients in the ward.’

Pat, 58, who works on E2 ward at Queen Alexandra Hospital, cried with joy as she picked up her award.

She said: ‘I was chuffed, excited and felt a bit sick when my name was called out.

141589-28 MY health awards'News Health Awards, Guidlhall Portsmoutjh.'Louise Hannington with Cheryl Anderson,Winner, Unsung Hero of the Year.'Pic Mick Young'17/10/2014 PPP-141018-012529006

141589-28 MY health awards'News Health Awards, Guidlhall Portsmoutjh.'Louise Hannington with Cheryl Anderson,Winner, Unsung Hero of the Year.'Pic Mick Young'17/10/2014 PPP-141018-012529006

‘I can’t thank John enough for nominating me.

‘I have been a hospital nurse for 11 years and I have loved every minute of it.

‘Thank you for my award and I really had a fantastic night.’

Mr Bourke, of Springfield Way, Fareham, was diagnosed with prostate cancer 14 years ago, and only two years ago, was given the news he also had bowel cancer.

In November last year Mr Bourke was taken to QA after falling seriously ill.

Doctors found there was a blockage in his colon and he had developed septicaemia – blood poisoning.

He also picked up an infection which meant he spent some time in an isolation ward before he was well enough to move to ward E2.

He said: ‘I really made a job of it all – I wasn’t in a good way.

‘I had become very dehydrated as I was vomiting a lot and suffering from diarrhoea.

‘That’s when I met Pat.’

Pat is a surgery and cancer nurse specialist who looks after patients who are suffering from cancer or have any other type of surgery.

Mr Bourke added: ‘The thing about Pat was she didn’t just treat it like a job, but she took the time out to make you feel better.

‘What she did for me was amazing, above and beyond what was called for.

‘She would check up on me every 20 minutes, would change my sheets as soon as they needed to be, and took the time to speak to me.’

Three weeks after Mr Bourke was discharged from QA, he was readmitted for a bladder infection, and again Pat was there to look after him. He added: ‘I couldn’t have asked for a better nurse and I’m so pleased she won the award.’

Last night The News hosted its annual health awards night, now in its fifth year.

Wave 105 DJ Steve Power presented the evening and announced the winners and runners-up.

With 13 categories, spanning hospital nurses, doctors and teams, mental health workers and community teams, GPs, pharmacies and dentists, all were honoured at the ceremony.

There were loud cheers as winners and runners-up came to the stage and pick up their prize, and moments of reflection, as guests heard amazing stories of patients saying ‘thank you’ to their health heroes.

Mark Waldron, editor of The News, said: ‘These awards are always a pleasure to be a part of.

‘Hearing some of the stories of workers who truly go above and beyond to help a patient in need is inspiring.

‘There was genuine excitement in the air as guests waited to see if they would take home a prize.

‘But all those nominated were winners. Each year it’s difficult to judge and pick winners, and this year was no different.

‘But that’s the way it should be and I look forward to reading more heartwarming stories for next year’s awards.

‘I want to say thank you to all those who took the time to nominate their health hero, and to our sponsors for making the evening so wonderful.’

Firm 8 Wealth Management were overall sponsors of the night, alongside regular sponsors, the University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth Cultural Trust, Lalys Pharmacy, NatWest, Admiral Care and Wave 105.

The awards were launched in April this year.

Once all nominations were in a panel of judges read through the scores of nominations and had the difficult task of choosing winners and runners-up.

If you would like to sponsor next year’s awards, or find out more information, email liz.parker@thenews.co.uk

To find out more about the awards, or to nominate someone, email priya.mistry@thenews.co.uk

For a full list of last night’s winners and runners-up click here.

To read The News’ view on this click here.