Celebrating International Nurses Day 2018 with our very own Progress Lifeline customer Mrs Dixon

In last Summer’s Progress Lifeline newsletter - The Companion, we asked our Progress Lifeline customers to write in with their own life stories. Retired nurse Mrs Dixon wrote to us with some inspiring and poignant stories of nursing over the last few decades. 

 Mrs Dixon


Mrs Dixon started training as a student nurse doing the combined 4 year course as an Enrolled Nurse, and then went on to study a specialist course in Surgical Perenteral Nutrition as a Staff Nurse. 


There were never two days alike but it was WONDERFUL... Mrs Dixon


Mrs Dixon Checking Pulse


Mrs Dixon tells us: "As a newly qualified nurse I worked at Pendlebury Children’s Hospital in the theatre. Whilst there I nursed a young man with a badly deformed spinal column. I was the most junior nurse working in one of the two teams it took to re-build his spine. This long operation was filmed and written up for ‘The Lancet’ magazine. It was a real privilege to help with this successful operation that eventually enabled this young person to walk again and live a better quality of life."


 Mrs Dixon Receiving Award

I received 7 letters of recommendation off all the wards that I worked on, whilst being a Student Nurse.


"A short while later, working in the Heart Care ward, I was given the job to ‘Special’ a very poorly 3 week old baby.

This little boy belonged to my close friends, who had insisted that it was myself who looked after him and although this was against the hospital’s rules, I was eventually allowed to. After some difficult tests we knew that he wouldn’t survive much longer, as his heart was not working correctly at all.

This was the hardest thing that I have ever done and although I held myself together on the ward and did all that I could for the little boy, afterwards with my dear friends, I broke down. It made me think that working with children might be too difficult for me."

Mrs Dixon continued with her nursing career however and one of her fondest memories of nursing is working with a young boy at the ‘Specialised Surgical Nutrition unit’ at Hope Hospital (now Salford Royal):

"This young boy had a rare genetic disorder and looked alot younger than his 12 years. He was a very bright boy who hated people talking to him like he was a baby. As I had a teenage boy myself, I treated him just like I did my own son, and because of this, and as he was with us for some time, we became friends.

A Professor there had recently pioneered a special method of pumping nutrients directly into the venous circulation of the heart via a special catheter (inserted by a surgeon in the operating theatre) and our work involved teaching this young boy’s mother how to connect him to his feeding pump and how to add the nutrients by syringe pump to each evening’s food.

This new method enabled that boy, and many more patients thereafter, to live in their own homes… I really miss Nursing!

Mrs Dixon With Other Nurses

Thank you to Mrs Dixon for sharing her nursing stories with us on #InternationalNursesDay 2018.

Mrs Dixon is a Progress Lifeline customer and after many years of caring for others, now receives support from the Progress Lifeline and Telecare service herself, which allows her to live safely, independently (and very happily!) at home.

Find out how Progress Lifeline can help support you to live independently at home here.