“SHE gave my mum her voice back” - those are the words of June Kenchenten, who has nominated the nurse who gave her mum the confidence to speak again after fighting cancer for the Daily Echo’s Hospital Heroes Award.
From the moment Mary Buxey was diagnosed with throat cancer 16 years ago, clinical nurse specialist Caroline Hampton has been there every step of the way, offering endless care and support.
As a result of her treatment, the 87-year-old from Millbrook had to have her voice box removed and so to allow her to talk she had a valve inserted into her neck, which takes a lot of time to get used to.
Mary’s daughter June believes it is only thanks to Caroline’s encouragement that her mum was able to overcome the obstacles of the valve and start to talk again.
Part of this was down to the weekly drop-in clinic which Caroline set up herself more than ten years ago at the Royal South Hants Hospital, offering help and support to those with valves – all of which are different and come with their own difficulties.
It is here where June says that patients get vital tips and support from Caroline, who often comes up with little tricks to solve problems a patient might be having.
June, 60, from Eastleigh, said: “She set up the drop-in clinic herself and it means so much to my mum to have somewhere where she can go and meet others sharing the same experience and learn different tricks to cope better with the valve in her throat.
“She really did give my mum the encouragement and confidence she needed to talk through her valve.”
Daily Echo readers can nominate anyone employed by the trust which runs Southampton General Hospital, the Princess Anne Hospital and Countess Mountbatten House, as well as some services at the Royal South Hants Hospital.
Caroline, who specialises in head, neck and thyroid oncology, said: “It may sound clichéd, but is true nevertheless, that I work within an extremely supportive and caring team that allows me and my colleagues in the front line to make a difference to our patients.”
Nominations close on Friday.
To nominate a Hospital Hero contact Melanie Adams at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on 023 8042 4500.