The nurse who cared for the first family to die at the NHS in London’s Kings Cross has been honoured with the Victoria Cross, a new accolade for nurses.
Nellie Clark, who spent seven years at Kings Cross in the early 1990s, died on Wednesday, just a few days after her family returned from their final Christmas.
She was born in South London and grew up in Brixton, a suburb of the capital.
The family had lived in the building since the 1970s and had visited the hospital from time to time.
In the early days, they had seen the building’s first nurses from the age of five, but the building had become so busy with staff that it was only at the height of the pandemic that they were able to visit.
The nurses were given a specialised task to assist in the recovery of the first patient to be admitted to the hospital, and it was to be the first Christmas Eve.
“The nurses were very important and they were very close to me,” she said.
The first family arrived at Kings Crossing in April 1993, after the first of a number of previous visits by the family to the building. “
They were the first nurses I had seen when I was in hospital.”
The first family arrived at Kings Crossing in April 1993, after the first of a number of previous visits by the family to the building.
“It was a real life example of nurses being a part of a family,” Ms Clark said.
A picture of NellIE Clark, the first nurse to visit Kings Cross, in 1993.
As soon as I got into the room they started asking me questions. “
However, as soon as they had me in the room, it was as if everything was normal.”
“As soon as I got into the room they started asking me questions.
I just went in with a smile and asked what was going on.”
I had never seen a nurse before, but they made me feel very welcome and very welcome in the whole house.
“Ms Clark spent her first Christmas with her husband, Paul, and her sister, Helen, at the time of her death.
She had been married to the nurse for 13 years and was due to start her second wedding on New Year’s Day.
“When the lights went on, the room was absolutely empty. “
She said ‘it’s time for the lights to go out’,” Ms Clark recalled.
The nurse’s husband Paul and sister Helen in their caravan in the Kings Crossing area. “
There was no sound, just the silence.”
The nurse’s husband Paul and sister Helen in their caravan in the Kings Crossing area.
The second Christmas was also the first time the couple were able come together in person, as a group.
Ms Clark and her husband returned home from their holiday to find her in a coma.
The first Christmas of her life was spent in the intensive care unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and she was put into a ventilator for two days before being transferred to the intensive-care unit at Kings Corner Hospital.
She underwent several tests and scans before being discharged from the intensive unit in May 1995.
Ms Clarkson said she was grateful to the nurses for giving her the chance to live a life with dignity and privacy.
“To have a Christmas where I was able to come home, to be able to go to bed and be able have my Christmas without anybody knowing,” she added.
Ms Skelton said the staff at Kings Community Hospital in London had been “extraordinarily kind and helpful”.
“They gave me so much support, and that’s what really helped me,” Ms Skellton said.
She said she had been moved from her home in Bripton to Kings Cross as a nursing home patient.
“That was a great experience for me,” the patient said.