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Happy Birthday Florence Nightingale

May 12, 2020

It’s Happy Birthday Florence!

Today is Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday. She must have especially good genes, because her family tree has since branched out massively, producing every nurse striving to keep us safe today.

In those days the emergency was the Crimean War. As we face a new emergency today, I’d like to pause for a moment and reflect on nurses then and now.

Much has changed since Florence’s day. Emergency lighting meant nurses carrying their own lamps. Cutting edge research meant new ways of carrying out amputations. Alcohol was more likely to be used as an anaesthetic than for hand sanitiser, and smoking was a key part of convalescence.

But Florence would recognize many things in today’s nurses: compassion, dedication, kindness, making time to care, and recognition of the human being behind the symptoms. It is appropriate that in this, the Year of the Nurse and Midwife, we are now more appreciative than ever of our nurses and other healthcare heroes.

So I’d like to celebrate the Julia’s House nurses and carers who provide care to seriously ill children and support to their families. You are persevering in the current crisis with a smile behind your masks. You, and others like you up and down the country, are the backbone of a caring society.

Thank you - not just for all that you do, but for all that you are.

With best wishes and take care,

Martin Edwards
Julia's House Chief Executive

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