I trained as a Children’s Nurse in 2005 and vividly remember having a lecture from a specialist in eating disorders, which made me want to know more. I was also very keen to learn about surgery as I loved being in theatre so I felt that I would postpone learning about eating disorders until a later date. However after caring for two patients who were suffering from anorexia I soon realised that this was where my passion lay and I worked hard to get a job at the Phoenix Eating Disorder Unit (an inpatient unit for adolescents.) The team there were amazing and were experts in their field and I felt so lucky to be with them and to learn from the best. It was there that I met Mandy and due to our passion we were always the last ones to leave in the evening and we would talk about one day being in a position to offer early intervention to young people to try and prevent hospital and months away from their family and friends. This was the idea that went on to be reality and PEDS charity was born and we have never looked back.
In 2012 I was taken seriously ill. Whilst in the gym with Mandy I suffered a stroke caused by a brain hemorrhage, followed by another stroke 3 days later. the saying ” what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger” has never been more true. After learning how to walk again, feed myself, and other basic life skills I was back on track to focus on PEDS.
I wanted to mention the stroke for two reasons, firstly because I now feel that it was a positive thing in my life as it made me stronger, more determined to succeed and realize that you have to use all your energy to fight for what you want to achieve in life. This is something I try to instill in our service users as nothing is impossible! Secondly if I can help anyone who has recently suffered a stroke and is teriffied that life will never be the same again, because in fact it can get better.
It is important to me that anyone suffering with an eating disorder is aware that it is an illness and nobody’s fault. However to highlight the severity of the illness it has always been important to me to be based at a GP surgery and so it feels absolutely perfect to now be at Boroughbury Medical Centre and we feel extremely fortunate.
I have also been interested in alternative therapies for many years and am qualified as a Thought Field Therapist (TFT) and an Emotion Code Practitioner. Whilst TFT helps to quieten down negative thoughts, the emotion code removes negative emotional baggage and both are excellent tools.
After spending two years explaining the benefits of TFT to various clinicians I was eventually given permission to introduce the therapy to the patients at the Phoenix with very good results and many staff members were also interested and impressed.
I am a mum to two caring daughters in their 20’s, one living at home. I love working, walking and watching medical documentaries.