Children's transplant nurse receives international recognition


Posted on Monday 10 December 2012
Grainne Walsh

Grainne Walsh, clinical nurse specialist in paediatric renal transplant nursing at the Evelina Children’s Hospital, has won an international award for her dedicated work with children and their families during their transplant journey.

Grainne prepares and supports children and their families with all elements of care before and after their renal transplant. She won the International Transplant Nurses Society (ITNS) Nursing Excellence Award, having been selected from nurses from USA, Canada and across Europe.

Joan, mother of 15-year-old Rachel Lawrence who had her transplant in 2009, said: “Grainne is an exceptional nurse and human being. She provides support and guidance both in person and on the phone but she goes about her work with good humour and grace. She looks after so many children and families but everyone feels that they are the most important person when she is with them.”

Penny, the grandmother of 11-year-old Ben McCormick who had his transplant in October 2011, said: “I soon came to realise not only was she very dedicated and professional but also caring and understanding. I have nothing but the greatest respect and admiration for her. She has helped us through this difficult first year.”

Caroline Middleton, mother of 10-year-old Charlie who underwent the operation in 2005, said: “Grainne has provided us with such a huge amount of support. Looking after a sick child on a long-term basis can be particularly stressful and traumatic at times and whenever we need urgent help or advice, she always goes the extra mile. Whatever the circumstances, Grainne always makes us feel that we are her number one priority. We have seen her selfless commitment to all of her patients and their families, and we don't think she realises what an important role she plays within all of our lives."

“I’m absolutely thrilled to win this award” said Grainne. She has made a huge difference to the lives of these and many other young people, who need lifetime treatment. As well as supporting patients and families around the time of transplant, she supports them when their care transfers from the children’s hospital to the adult services at Guy’s and St Thomas’ through a unique ‘Transition Service’. She ensures that the doctors and nurses understand that these young adults have specific needs at this challenging time.

On top of her day job, Grainne helps organise the national Transplant Games, and has served on the committees of international organisations supporting nurses and health care professionals in their professional development.

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