A HAMPSHIRE grandmother left shocked by a sudden cancer diagnosis found the strength to fight on thanks to the bedside manner of her surgeon.

Rita Jarvis was left horrified when the mole which she had on her forehead for years suddenly began to get darker and became cancerous.

Before she knew it, the 66-year-old from Romsey was being told that she needed surgery at Southampton General Hospital to remove it fast, before the disease spread any further.

But it was thanks to the care and attention from consultant face and neck surgeon Sanjay Sharma, that Rita found the courage to face her battle without too much fear.

That’s why she has nominated Mr Sharma for the Daily Echo’s Hospital Heroes Award, which celebrates the hard work and dedication of staff at Southampton General Hospital, the Princess Anne Hospital and Countess Mountbatten Hospice.

Mrs Jarvis, who has now had the malignant melanoma completely removed, said: “Mr Sharma just made me feel really at home, explaining everything that was going to happen, when I was still in shock really.

“Even when I was going down to surgery he came along and got hold of the trolley and said that he was going to do a good job, making me laugh and really putting me at ease. I didn’t feel afraid at all.

“He was just wonderful. I couldn’t fault him, he was just so kind.”

Mr Sharma added: “I feel extremely proud and happy to have been nominated for this award. I have always loved the privilege and challenge of caring for my patients but receiving the accolade of a nomination from someone I have personally looked after is very special indeed and makes me feel that what I do is even more meaningful, valuable and worthwhile.”

The deadline for nominations has now passed.