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Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust nurse given DAISY award for work to fulfil wedding wish for patient and partner

A nurse who helped a hospital patient to fulfil his final wish of marrying his partner has received a prestigious award.

Keela Darby, a nurse at King’s Mill Hospital in Sutton-in-Ashfield, supported Roy Wilkinson and his family while Roy was receiving end-of-life care.

Keela, assisted by colleagues, arranged balloons, flowers, a cake, cards, and bubbles at very short notice to celebrate Roy’s marriage to his partner of three years, Michelle.

Roy and Michelle Wilkinson on their wedding day.
Roy and Michelle Wilkinson on their wedding day.

Their wedding, attended by family, friends, and hospital staff, took place on September 22, 2023, in the Surgical Assessment Unit, where Roy passed away just five days later.

Roy’s widow Michelle Wilkinson and their daughter Katherine Wilkinson were so grateful for the way Keela went above and beyond to support them and Roy in his final days that they nominated her for the internationally-recognised DAISY Award.

Michelle, who lives in Farndon, said: “We nominated Keela for the outstanding work she and her team have done. They weren’t just nurses and doctors, they were friends and people that Roy trusted. Keela always made time to sit with Roy and make sure he was as happy and comfortable as possible.

“How they arranged the wedding was so special and amazing. The work that Keela and her team did was absolutely outstanding.”

Nurse Keela Darby with Michelle and Katherine Wilkinson.
Nurse Keela Darby with Michelle and Katherine Wilkinson.

Keela, who has worked at Sherwood Forest Hospitals for ten years, was given the award by Michelle, Katherine, and the trust’s chief nurse Phil Bolton, at a surprise presentation attended by colleagues.

Phil said: “I’m so proud of the way our nursing colleagues go the extra mile for patients and their families every day of the week. Nursing is not only about providing patients and families with excellence in clinical care but also compassion — it’s so much more than just a job. Keela’s achievement is a great example of what the DAISY Award is all about.”

Keela said: “I feel very honoured to have received this award. It means the world to have even been nominated. A big part of the job is not only looking after the patient but providing any support their family and loved ones need also. We wanted Roy’s family to know that he wasn’t alone when they weren’t there and that he was being taken care of. I want to thank and recognise the whole team for their part as well — it was a team effort.”

The DAISY Foundation was founded by the family of J. Patrick Barnes after he died in 1999 due to complications of an autoimmune disease. During the time he spent in hospital the family saw the care and compassion that he was given, and once Patrick passed felt they needed to show their thanks.

You can nominate a nurse or midwife who provided great care by visiting the DAISY award page on the trust’s website.

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