News posted 25 October, 2023

Former patient becomes children’s hospital nurse after being inspired by her own care

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Rosie walking into the hospital in her nurses uniformAn ’incredible’ student nurse was inspired to join the profession after receiving treatment at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital (RMCH), six years ago.

Rosie Naylor was 13 years old when she tried to stand, but found that she couldn’t put any weight on one of her legs. Rosie was admitted to Ward 85 at RMCH, which cares for a range of specialities including cardiology and rheumatology.

Rosie, now 20, said: “I couldn’t move, I couldn’t do anything. They sent an ambulance to my house and from that moment I spent 12 months in hospital.

“I spent six months in a wheelchair undergoing tests and treatments whilst also trying to keep up with school and normal teenage life”.

Investigations into Rosie’s illness are still ongoing, but during her time in hospital she was on a feeding tube, unable to bear weight or hold her head up. Healthcare workers used several interventions to help with her recovery which included physical and hydrotherapy.

Nicola, Rosie’s mum, said: “She was unable to walk for a significant amount of time and one of her legs wouldn’t bend. She’d been in her wheelchair for a long time, and the day I saw her stand was one of the proudest moments of my life because I just thought ‘that’s my girl, she’s coming back…’.”

After a long 12-month battle, Rosie was home. Inspired by the nurses who looked after her, Rosie made the ultimate decision as she reached university age.

Rosie added: “I started to train to become a nurse in September 2021. I’m about to go into my final year now and I absolutely love it.

“I still haven’t got over the fact that I’m becoming a nurse, and that I’m training in the hospital that gave me my life back”.

During her illness, Rosie’s family were given accommodation in Ronald McDonald House Manchester, one of 14 Houses across the UK providing free family accommodation next to children’s hospitals. This means that families can then focus their efforts on supporting their child during the toughest times.

Rosie in a wheelchair with staff from Ward 85 dressed in harnesses and crash helmets for a charity abseilNicola said: “Going through something so life-changing makes you see things differently. It makes you appreciate the smaller things in life.

“Having a sick child changes everything, it just completely rocks your world.

“One of the nurses told me about the Ronald McDonald House. I was told that there was a room available, but I didn’t know what to expect at all.

“I was so overwhelmed when I walked in. I’d been living out of a suitcase for three and a half months, but the room had twin beds, a wardrobe, even a mirror! Just the things you take for granted every day.”

Nicola is bursting with pride at the journey that her daughter has gone through.

She added: “Rosie is the most phenomenal nurse. The children that she looks after will be very, very lucky to have her in their lives. I just think she’s incredible. She’s just such a strong, inspirational young woman.”

When Professor Cheryl Lenney, Group Chief Nurse at Manchester University NHS FT (MFT), learned about Rosie, she said: “We are so proud that Rosie has chosen MFT for her nursing training. I am always interested as to what inspires our medical staff to join us, so to learn that Rosie’s experiences as a child in one of our hospitals left such a profound impression on her that she decided to go into nursing has really impressed me. I wish Rosie a very long, happy and successful career.”