1 Feb 2024 Community
Retired nurse Sue Boee speaks about her love for The Kirkwood
The Kirkwood is incredibly proud of its staff and how they care for people in the local community with pride, passion, and unwavering kindness. That love and support for anyone who is dealing with a life limiting illness means we can make those people feel safe and comfortable when getting the care, they need whether that be in their own homes, in our many care home partners or on our In-Patient Unit.
Sue Bowe worked for The Kirkwood for over 20 years and helped to make a huge difference to the patients and their families that she interacted with. She worked as a nurse for over 45 years with half of that time working for our charity in Kirklees.
Sue has recently retired and has sent a thoughtful letter to her colleagues saying how much she had enjoyed working with them in The Kirkwood movement over the last two decades.
On working for The Kirkwood, she said: “I have so many happy memories of nearly 20 years’ service for the Kirkwood and working with the amazing staff that works there. We have had challenges, tears, and laughter along the way. I could share so many stories which I will carry with me on my next journey, nursing is a lifelong journey. Whilst working for The Kirkwood there were constant updates and learning best practices as well as being involved in new initiatives and using new technology.”
Sue has had many adventures throughout her career, working both at home and abroad and learning and developing her skills in lots of different areas.
On her career she said: “I always knew I wanted to be a nurse as I was always naturally drawn to those in need. I can't believe how the years have flown by and I have enjoyed most of it. I started at 17 as a nursing cadet, helping on the wards in Bradford, washing bedpans and maintaining the crisp square corners of the bedsheets, just in case the matron came to inspect me. From there, I moved into the nursing residence at HRI, which is now an education area. I loved my training and always got excited when I had achieved something new.
“My first job as an enrolled nurse was in obstetrics, mainly in the delivery suite, assisting with hundreds of births, which was joyful. I then went to Saudi Arabia and again worked in obstetrics, which was challenging due to the language barrier and culture.
“However, I soon learned the most useful words and actions which I still occasionally use today, some 38 years later. Life was exciting, with world travels, trips, adventures and new friends along the way.
“I was blessed to give up work when I had my first child and love motherhood, that was my focus to be a good mum. Even though money was tight, I was asked if I would like to work at a local Cheshire home, mainly for people with neurological conditions. Little did I know that I would end up with a condition myself as I was diagnosed with Parkinsons disease. Thankfully I'm managing to deal with it now. When my second daughter reached 14, I felt it was time to convert to a level 1 RGN and so off to Leeds I went. I felt so proud every time I got a good mark and passed.”
Sue then came across hospice care after helping to care for a close relative, this made her appreciate even more about the work hospices do, she said said: “I nursed my Aunt Sal who had cancer before she went to Saint Gemma's Hospice and there I witnessed the loving care and kindness given at the end of life and knew that will be my next role.
“It was amazing how it all fell into place and even though I had to pay back the University fees for leaving the home and also take a large cut in pay, I knew in my heart this was a continuation of my vacation in life, and I’m glad that vocation caried on with The Kirkwood.”
Now Sue is taking her well earned retirement in her stride as she enjoys quality time with family and friends.
On that she commented: “Now I am learning to chill, relax and spend time with my husband, daughter, three grandchildren and a boisterous puppy that thinks my life is about playing all day. I enjoy meeting up with my friends, and taking part in new hobbies, joining new activities and belonging to various groups to help myself and others, I can wake up and enjoy the view from my bed. I can walk in the hills and feel free to be me.
“I have loved working with everyone involved with The Kirkwood and will never forget my time with the charity.”
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