Nurse who cared for our daughter with leukaemia is ‘credit to the profession’

Angela Gallagher was nominated for the Patient's Choice award by former nurse Linda Davies

Angela Gallagher

Former nurse Linda Davies has nominated community paediatric oncology outreach nurse specialist Angela Gallagher, who has been caring for her daughter, for the 2021 Patient's Choice award.

Ms Gallagher, who works for Cardiff and Vale University Health Board/Swansea Bay University Health Board, has consistently gone above and beyond any reasonable expectation to support Ms Davies' whole family, she says.

Knowledge, dedication and advocacy

Ms Davies’ daughter Alexandra was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in 2020 and her parents, who are healthcare professionals, have been ‘consistently impressed and humbled’ by Ms Gallagher’s knowledge and her dedication to her job and all the families she cares for.

‘Ms Gallagher has come to our home to give my daughter chemotherapy on her days off, even over Christmas. This allowed us to spend valuable time at home together’

Linda Davies, patient's mother

Ms Davies says: ‘She conducts her duties with honesty and integrity even when communicating difficult news and discussing sensitive information. She is unfailingly respectful and kind and she can make you feel better just by being in the room.’

She adds: ‘We are a same-sex couple and our daughter was conceived using assisted conception. Ms Gallagher has taken the time to understand our circumstances and has been willing to advocate for us when other parts of the service have been less sensitive.’

Good communication and consistent support

Despite their healthcare backgrounds, the couple found that this has not helped them meet the challenges their daughter’s illness has presented, which has meant Ms Gallagher’s support and availability has been invaluable.

‘She is easy to contact and if she is on leave, she communicates well with us and her colleagues to ensure we are well supported,’ says Ms Davies. Ms Gallagher’s experience shows in her ability to plan and pre-empt issues, she says, which has made the family’s journey through their daughter’s acute treatment ‘immeasurably less traumatic’.

‘Ms Gallagher has used her experience to anticipate problems that my daughter might face, this included her calling to our house on her day off to check her bloods and organise a blood transfusion during the Christmas holidays. This enabled my daughter to avoid developing symptomatic anaemia and enduring the stress of an acute admission. 

‘Ms Gallagher has come to our home to give my daughter chemotherapy on her days off, even over Christmas, which we really appreciated. This allowed us to spend valuable time at home together.’

Read about the rest of our Patient’s Choice finalists below, or click here to vote

‘A truly exceptional nurse and a person’

‘Only one of us could accompany our daughter when she went into hospital and we spent more than 60 inpatient days in hospital over the course of six months – and plenty of others attending clinic appointments and day case procedures, often in upsetting circumstances.

‘We were used to watching our daughter suffer at that stage in her treatment and we couldn’t have been more grateful for Ms Gallagher’s experience and kindness. She is exceptionally modest and whenever we express our gratitude to her, she replies that she feels privileged to do her job. We will never be able to thank her enough for her professionalism and dedication during such a difficult time in our lives.’

Ms Davies knows of other families who have received the same level of care from Ms Gallagher. She adds: ‘She is a truly exceptional nurse and person and she deserves every recognition. She is a credit to the profession.’

Ms Gallagher was shocked to be nominated. ‘They are such a lovely family and it is a privilege to care for them. The nomination has brought me to tears – the time and effort Ms Davies has given to think of me is humbling.’

Voting for the Patient’s Choice award is now open. The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony on 12 October.

Elaine Cole is RCNi special projects editor

The Patient’s Choice award is sponsored by nursing uniform provider Alexandra

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