On Wednesday 3rd Feb, we presented one of the most well deserved Long Service Awards we have seen in a long time. The recipient was so highly thought of that even our Programme Manager, Angie Henney, received the red carpet treatment on route to presenting the award. Angie arrived in Clarkston to a throng of paparazzi, or at least it seemed that way given the huge number of friends and family documenting the presentation!
In the early 2000s, Muriel Stoddart was a Health Visitor covering a GP Practice on the Southside of Glasgow. She had shortly returned from maternity leave when she caught an infection from a patient – bronchiolitis obliterans – which destroyed her lungs. This diagnosis took over a year to be reached, and it was eventually decided that while she clearly needed a lung transplant, she was too ill to be placed on the active transplant list. In the meantime, Muriel was tube feeding, utilising her time as a nutritional nurse specialist to best effect! She improved enough to be listed, but after a further year she had stabilised further and came off the list. Muriel is still ill, still disabled, but has improved to the extent she can now speak! The possible need for a lung transplant remains, with the potential outcomes hanging heavy but on Wednesday, all that could be put to the back of the mind.
We had been approached about the award by Caroline Lindsay, an LSA recipient at our AGM in November, who told us that Muriel would not be able to attend an event, but that she deserved an award. Having heard her story, there was no doubt that Muriel was deserving of her award, wherever it had to be made.
Which all led to Angie presenting the award on a sofa in Clarkston, in front of assembled family and friends, including colleagues and former patients, and a spread quite delightfully put on by Muriel’s 14 year old son, who had demanded the use of the party plates.
Upon receiving her award, Muriel said “I am deeply moved and grateful to the QNIS for recognising my health visiting career which I have to say I loved. This has been a very special afternoon.”
It was truly a wonderful occasion, one which it was a pleasure to be a part of, and we wish Muriel and her family all the best for the future.