The Sun reveals the finalists for its 2019 Who Cares Wins Health Awards
The Sun’s Who Cares Wins awards celebrate staff who go beyond the call of duty to care for patients and make the NHS the treasure it is.
The annual awards, now in their third year, were set up to allow readers to pay tribute to the selfless medics, researchers and volunteers who have touched – or in many cases – saved their lives.
This year, The Sun received a record number of nominations from readers keen to thank their health heroes.
The judging panel – made up of TV doctor and NHS GP Dr Dawn Harper, Professor Chris Moran, the National Clinical Director for Trauma in England, and Chief Midwifery Officer for England, Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent have whittled entries down into a shortlist.
The Sun will be running a special eight-page pull out in Tuesday’s paper revealing this year’s shortlist, with more information on each finalist.
This year’s finalists are:
Best Neonatal Specialist
Professor Kypros Nicolaides
Sherrie Sharp was 27 weeks pregnant when foetal surgeon, Professor Kypros Nicolaides performed pioneering keyhole surgery for spina bifida on her unborn son Jaxson. By extraordinary coincidence, as a young surgeon, Professor Nicolaides, now based at King’s College Hospital in London had also operated on her own mother, Jacqueline, when Sherrie was in the womb.
Dr Vesna Pavasovic
Ralph Griffiths was born with a life-threatening condition affecting his immune system.
Ralph’s parents were told he had just hours to live. Thanks to the care given by Dr Pavasovic, a Consultant in Malignant Paediatric Haematology at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital Ralph pulled through and underwent a life-saving bone marrow transplant.
Professor Massimo Caputo
Ina Maria Pintilei was born with parts of her heart back to front. She was just 13 days old, when paediatric heart surgeon Professor Caputo operated on her at the specialist heart unit at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children. The complex surgery involved three by-passes, turning the heart valves around and reconstructing her aorta. Little Ina Maria is now thriving.
When Jennie Powell went into labour at just 22 weeks and five days. Medics flew her 190 miles to a specialist neonatal unit at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford in a desperate bid to save her twins. Midwife Jane Parke, from the Royal Cornwall Hospital was with her every step of the way. Jenson and Reuben became the youngest surviving twin boys in Britain when they born last year.
Midwife Naghmeh has worked at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Essex, for nearly four decades. She has been nominated by new mum Cincita Ribeiro after Naghmeh delivered her third child in March this year. The birth was aired on hit TV show Emma Willis: Delivering Babies. Cincita describes Naghmeh as “incredible.”
Midwife Charlotte from St George’s Hospital in London was so dedicated to her job that she pitched in with extra shifts to help overstretched colleagues after she had gone on maternity leave herself. After helping to deliver a patient’s baby, Charlotte’s own baby was born just ten hours later. Colleague Charlene Daniel has nominated her, saying “it must be a first”.
Best Health Charity
Matt Hampson Foundation
Former England rugby union player Matt Hampson was left paralysed in a scrum in 2005. He can now only breathe with the help of a ventilator but set up his charity the Matt Hampson Foundation to help others. The charity has been nominated by Giselle Moor who took her first steps unaided at its specialist rehabilitation centre.
Jamie McDonald was inspired to set up his charity, which supports sick children, after suffering from a rare spinal condition as a youngster. Jamie, also known as Adventureman, holds the world record for the longest distance covered on a treadmill, raising £55,000 for the Superhero Foundation.
The charity helps young adults with learning disabilities find work and trains employers to be more inclusive. It was set up by Rosa Monckton, whose daughter Domenica, 24, has Down’s Syndrome and struggled to find work. Nominated by Susannah Hall, who has her dream job as a pastry chef thanks to the charity.
Practice nurse Margaret saved the life of patient Sharon White during an appointment at The Village Surgery in Caerphilly, Wales, where she works. Margaret immediately spotted Sharon, 59, was gravely ill and gave her treatment before getting her transferred to hospital, where she was diagnosed with double pneumonia and sepsis.
Liz is the Matron of the Florence Nightingale Hospice in Aylesbury, Bucks, and came up with the idea for the widely praised Purple Rose initiative to improve the care for patients in the last days of their life. She has used her own money to fund parts of the scheme, which includes supplying a special purple rose that can be placed on the door or curtain to allow families privacy.
Wendy Lemard has nominated Senior Charge nurse Carlton for going above and beyond his duties when she spent time in the intensive care unit at Newham University Hospital in East London, where he works. After coming out her diabetic coma, he bought her food with his own money and also supported her three children through the difficult time.
Groundbreaking Pioneer or Discovery sponsored by Pfizer
Guy’s and St Thomas’ London Auditory
Brainstem Implant (ABI) Service
Leia Armitage, eight, was born with a rare form of deafness and was never expected to speak. But she now can thanks to pioneering brain surgery and speech therapy carried out by the Guy’s and St Thomas’ London Auditory Brainstem Implant (ABI) Service. And now children with the same condition as Leia are able to access the treatment on the NHS.
Dr Helen Spencer
Dr Spencer, a Respiratory Paediatrician, and her team at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital used a new therapy, the first of its kind in the world, on 17-year-old Isabelle Holdaway, to treat a multi-resistant bacteria associated with Cystic Fibrosis. Isabelle went from a less than one per cent chance of survival to going back to college and learning to drive.
A Consultant Neurosurgeon at the University Hospital in Southampton, Mr Vajramani performed a world-first nerve stimulation procedure on patient Alison Cameron, 56, who was left with chronic neuropathic pain after having appendicitis as a teen. She is now pain free for the first time in four decades.
Four-year-old Kaitlyn, from Dorset, saved her mum Charlene’s life by calling for an ambulance when she had a fit at home. Charlene has a condition that causes her to have up to 40 seizures a week. She told call handler Jess Hodkinson, who has nominated Kaitlyn, what was wrong, gave her address and stayed on the line until paramedics arrived.
Isabella, 14, from London, has raised more than £115,000 for the hospice where her eight-year-old sister Molly died from an inoperable brain tumour in 2010. The family used a specialist unit at Haven House Children’s Hospice to say goodbye to Molly. Isabella also helps other children who have lost siblings and has been nominated by Sophia Edwards, 15, whose sister Issy, 14, died in 2015.
Eight-year-old Ebonie Musselwhite, from Crawley, West Sussex, was diagnosed with a rare form of leukaemia aged four. Her only hope was a bone marrow transplant and her whole family were tested. Ebonie’s brother, Ronnie, then aged four, was a perfect match and he offered to help his sister by giving her a transplant. Ebonie nominated her brother for his bravery.
Musician Ben helps those at the end of their life and their surviving family members to write
their own songs. Many are played at people’s funerals and Ben always attends them. He set up
the Swan Song Project after his grandmother Teresa died in 216. He has been nominated by Rebecca Scott-Davis, 17, for helping her to write a song about her gran.
After losing his baby daughter Niamh in 2017, Rob decided to organise a football match to raise funds for the stillbirth and neonatal charity Sands. He went on to launch Sands United FC as a support network for bereaved dads. There are now 17 teams across the UK and Robert has been nominated by Ross Coniam, whose premature daughter Norah died last year.
Therapeutic Care Volunteers, South Tees NHS Foundation Trust
Ify Nwokoro was paralysed following a road traffic accident in 2009 but gives up his time to support patients with spinal injuries at The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough. He is one of the 30 therapeutic care volunteers, who all have a learning or physical disability, at the hospital. Nominated by patient Sam Watson, 21, who was left paralysed in July.
Mental Health Hero
Ben lost his brother Sam, 15, to suicide last year and since his death, has campaigned tirelessly to raise awareness of mental health. His Project Walk to Talk raised £15,000 for mental health charities and a foundation has been set up in Sam’s name. Ben’s friend Sebastian Yeandle has nominated him for helping to save others despite his grief.
After giving birth to her son, Catherine was diagnosed with perinatal OCD, making her paranoid she might hurt her son. She has worked with healthcare professionals to help them recognise and better deal with other women who have the condition. The mum-of-one also launched a blog which has supported thousands of women around the world.
Lindsay Thirlwell was diagnosed with cancer last year and, just a few weeks later, her husband
John was told he had a brain tumour. Their sons Harry, eight, and six-year-old Theo couldn’t speak about their parents being ill. The family have nominated counsellor Beth, based at St Oswald’s Hospice in Newcastle, for helping the boys to deal with their emotions.
Dr Bijay Sinha
A Consultant at Whipps Cross Hospital in London, Dr Sinha runs its elderly care ward, which has the best discharge and lowest readmission rate in the country. He has also set up a breakfast club, exercise group and music therapy for patients. He has been nominated by Sanjay Chandarana for the exceptional care he gave his father Jayantilal in his final days.
Dr Margaret France
Lancashire-based retired GP Margaret has been Louise’s Eaton’s family doctor for years.
Despite retiring in 2013 she has continued to provide support to Louise’s brother James, who suffers from a rare genetic condition, and even helped to deliver a neighbour’s baby on their driveway.
Dr Matthew Boulter
Action man Dr Boulter is a GP at St Clare Medical Centre in Penzance, Cornwall, has been nominated by patient Sue Robinson, who says “every town should have a Dr Boulter”.
As well as working full time, Dr Boulter volunteers as a Lifeboat doctor and is a military reservist. He has served in Afghanistan, teaches wild trauma to army medics and his surgery became the first in the county to be given veteran friendly accreditation.
Nick Evans and Ruth Lowe
Sarah and Mike Clifford have nominated porters Nick and Ruth for saving the life of their seven-week-old baby, Logan. He stopped breathing as they walked through the main entrance of The Princess Royal Hospital in Telford to visit a sick relative. Ruth shouted for colleague Nick who grabbed Logan out of his mum’s arms and performed CPR as he ran down the corridor to A&E.
Mike has saved countless lives during his 50 year career as a paramedic for the South Western Ambulance Service. Among them is Mandy Palk, 51, who suffered a cardiac arrest at home. She had just an eight per cent chance of survival but Mike gave her CPR and used a defibrillator to restart her heart.
Dr Mark Forrest
Motorcyclist John O’Brien ‘died’ at the roadside following a crash but was brought back to life by medics who performed open heart surgery at the scene. Dr Mark Forrest, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Medical Director, massaged his heart until it started beating again.
No one else in the world has survived the blunt trauma John, 48, sustained but, thanks to Dr Forrest’s skill, he survived and was able to walk his daughter down the aisle.
The winners, including the recipient of the Christina Newbury Memorial Award, will be announced at our star-studded gala awards bash, held at The Sun’s headquarters, The News Building.
This special recognition award is in memory of our Health Editor who died suddenly last year, aged 31.
Please tag @TheSun on any social media posts and don’t forget to include this year’s hashtag: #whocareswins19.
Notes to editors
If you need any photos and extra details about the nominees or stories for your own channels, please contact:
Tel: 0207 782 6814
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.