COMMENT: Pride of Portsmouth awards are a great way to show appreciation of NHS

Imagine the joy of Shakardokht Jafari when she finally found out she was pregnant after trying for a baby for more than 12 years.

Friday, 6th December 2019, 12:00 am

Then try to imagine her shock at receiving a cancer diagnosis at the same time and fearing that she would have to terminate her longed-for pregnancy because of the treatment required.

It was a cruel blow for the medical physicist, who could see her dream of becoming a mum being snatched away from her and also had to deal with the awful news that she had Stage 2 breast cancer.

The 42-year-old said: 'It was horrible getting such good news and such bad news at the same time.'

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But an emergency appointment saw Queen Alexandra Hospital consultant breast surgeon Masooma Zaidi reassure Shakardokht that cancer treatment didn't mean losing her baby.

After regular check-ups and a course of chemotherapy, she gave birth to son Sina in May this year - and she was so grateful and impressed with Masooma's help at such a difficult time that she nominated her for a Pride of Portsmouth award.

There are lots of healthcare professionals like Masooma working in the National Health Service and it's great to have a way for them to be recognised for their care and dedication.

We applaud Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust for running the awards each year and shining a spotlight on some of the fantastic work that goes on right across the organisation.

Stories like that of Shakardokht are a powerful reminder of why our NHS is so precious and why we owe its workforce such a debt of gratitude for the job they do every day.