Mary Duffy’s Story

Hi, my name is Mary, I am 18 years old and was diagnosed 2 years ago with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

It was within four months that it was decided that a bone marrow transplant was going to be the way forward and so Burkits Ward at St. James’s was to become my new home for the next year at least.  The devastating news of my illness was a huge blow to our family but the staff of Burkits kept us calm, informed and upbeat the whole way.

The nursing team at St. James’s are second to none, their care is amazing and they have become for me best friends, family and then literally my life savers.  All the way through, every step of the way they have been there for me providing the stability that I needed during a very difficult time.  Their teamwork is seamless they intertwine with one another to ensure every detail of my care is looked after.

Burkits Ward itself has become my home away from home, it is my cocoon of safety and makes me feel secure even at the worst of times.  The high ratio of staff to patients gives me confidence day and night.  It’s not only the nursing staff that make this place a home for so many of us, the ancillary staff, cleaners, kitchen staff, porters, carers and nurse managers all play such a huge role and I can see as a patient that it isn’t a job for them it’s a vocation, so nothing is too much trouble.

On top of this to help me feel as normal as possible I had been giving access to the trusts apartments which meant that I could spend a few days acting how a teenager should act.  The generosity of the Hiltons Hotel Group means that bedding, towels, toiletries and cleaning aren’t a worry for us. It’s so close to the hospital that I can get back to the hospital as I need to; and I definitely needed too!!!!!!!!

Because of the dedication in the past 2 years of all of these people, those I see on a daily basis and those who are behind the scenes, my journey is coming to an end with the light at the end of the tunnel becoming brighter.  I owe my life to these people and nothing I could say or do would be enough to thank them for all they have done.  THEY ARE MY LIFE SAVERS !!!!!!!!!!

Mary Duffy