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Carer went 'above and beyond' to help dying woman in her darkest hour
Article by Rhea Turner
Published 11/08/19 Derbyshire Live
A young carer who selflessly went above and beyond for a cancer patient nearing her end of life has won a special dignity award.
Rebecca Teesdale, 21, followed in the footsteps of her mum, nan and sister to work at Hoar Cross Nursing Home.
And her special bond with an elderly cancer sufferer who was coming to the end of her life has won her a Staffordshire Dignity Award.
Rebecca helped style her hair, took her for walks in the fresh air - even on her days off - and held her hand in her darkest hour.
Kathy Cleaver has been the registered manager at the care home for 13 years and said: "Rebecca was recently a nurse for a resident with cancer who was admitted for end of life care at the age of 72.
"She had a very close family who visited daily who were struggling emotionally with the resident’s diagnosis.
"Every day Rebecca was on duty she gave her person-centred care, offering choices and supporting her to make her own decisions.
"She applied the resident’s makeup and made sure her hair and nails were done as the resident always liked to look smart.
"She also supported the family with empathy and compassion and came to work in her own time to take the resident out as she loved having fresh air.
"As the lady’s condition gradually deteriorated Rebecca continued to support her with respect and dignity, taking in to account her choices and preferences.
"She had a horse-riding fall and damaged her ankle, which meant she had to take sick leave, but she continued to have contact with the family, giving emotional support to them over the phone.
"Sadly, the resident's condition deteriorated further and Rebecca came into the home while still on sick leave and sat with her, holding her hand, talking to her and playing her favourite music. She did this with compassion and care.
"As her manager I have nothing but respect for the way in which Rebecca not only cared for the resident so very well in the final days of her life, but the loving supportive care she gave to the family, whilst being unwell herself. If all carers were a Rebecca, the world would be a better place.
"That is why I nominated her for the Young Dignity Champion award in the Staffordshire Dignity in Care Awards."
Rebecca, who lives in Burntwood, said helping others is in her nature and she was surprised to win the award.
She said: "I don’t really think of what I do as going above and beyond. It is just in my nature.
"I am not doing it to be recognised; I just want to make the residents feel special. Some families adapt to their loved ones being in a home fairly easily while others need extra support.
"I was definitely surprised to hear about the award. It was a big thing just to be nominated at such a young age but to win was just incredible and very unexpected.
"The whole job is rewarding because you are doing something to benefit somebody else, but to be recognised is amazing."
Alan White, deputy leader at Staffordshire County Council and Cabinet member for Health, Care and Wellbeing added his congratulations to Rebecca.
Alan said: "Once again it is great to see carers being recognised, from those working in care organisations to those in the voluntary sector and especially those looking after family members and relatives.
"One thing all these people have in common is that they put dignity at the heart of everything they do.
"That’s why we host our awards which gives us the chance to celebrate this and thank them for the great work they do and the difference they make to people’s lives.
"I would like to pass on my congratulations to all the winners and runners up and to everyone who puts dignity at the centre of everything they do."