Nurse with three decades of dedication to LOROS Hospice retires

Published on 9th June 2021

A nurse who has dedicated more than three decades to caring for patients at the end of their lives is retiring from LOROS Hospice.

Janet Manuel, 54, began her career at LOROS in 1988 and went on to reshape the charity’s Day Therapy service for patients to access whilst still at home.

Janet said: “I’m very proud of what I’ve established here in Day Therapy. As well as a friendly chat and a laugh, our therapeutic sessions give patients coping strategies to help them manage difficult symptoms such as stress or anxiety. Many patients live on their own and feel the reassurance that attending Day Therapy gives them is vital.”

Under Janet’s guidance, Day Therapy has become a hub for patients to access other LOROS services too. Patients can have clinical procedures such as drains and blood transfusions and attend other Outpatients clinics, helping them with pain or breathlessness, all whilst they come in to Day Therapy.

It’s a ‘one stop shop’ which for many represents a lifeline. So when COVID-19 hit, Janet was concerned how patients would manage.

“We started phoning patients regularly. Checking they’re coping okay with isolation and that their symptoms are manageable. Sometimes even taking them food if they needed supplies, but also chatting to them as many were just lonely.”

In May 2020, Janet found herself the patient when she contracted COVID-19.

“It was one of the worst times of my life. I was in hospital for 10 days on oxygen. I was off work for 8 weeks and I’ve been left with long COVID – fatigue and breathlessness.

“It gave me a real insight into how our patients feel and how making every day count is so important. It’s a lesson for all of us.”

As a lasting thank you to LOROS she’s challenged herself to complete a 5km sponsored walk to raise money for the charity she loves.

“I’m very attached to the place and I’d like to raise some money to say thank you. It feels like an end of an era so I want to give something back.”

John Knight, CEO of LOROS, said: “Janet has dedicated almost her entire career to palliative care and chose LOROS as the place to do that. She has been a professional role model for countless nurses in training, health care assistants and other health professionals in addition to the many thousands of patients whose lives she will have positively affected.

“LOROS will miss her greatly, such a wonderful character and a tower of experience and strength to the hospice and our patients.”

If you’d like to sponsor Janet to complete her 5km walk and raise funds for LOROS, her just giving page is at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/janet-manuel

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