Devotion to duty of late Northern Ireland nurse has not gone unnoticed

A Northern Ireland nurse who devoted his life to caring for terminal patients has been posthumously nominated for a top accolade.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 28th August 2021, 2:11 pm
The late Paul Murray, a nominee for Patient’s Choice RCN award
The late Paul Murray, a nominee for Patient’s Choice RCN award

Paul Murray, who worked for Northern Health and Social Care Trust, died after a cardiac arrest in February after nursing for 25 years.

The testimonies from people he supported show the huge impact he had on the people he cared for as well as the wider community.

Paul, a nurse practitioner at Causeway Hospital, Coleraine, is one of six nurses who have been named finalists in the Patient’s Choice category of the RCN Nursing Awards.

The nominations from members of the public for Paul include accounts of numerous occasions where he went above and beyond to get people with terminal cancer discharged from hospital to spend time with their family.

In one case, he was able to get a helicopter to take a man at the end of life to Scotland so he could die at home with his family.

“He offered support, care and follow-up to people even when it was not in his remit, providing updates to families and friends and visiting patients on his way home from work.

In her nomination Vera Bell wrote: ‘My daughter Linda was diagnosed with terminal cancer in her stomach in her early 40s and Paul made her feel less frightened. It wasn’t his responsibility, but he went out of his way to save her from journeys to Belfast when her GP was unable to provide the COVID-19 tests she needed. He then kept in contact with a friend to check how she was getting on.

“In the later stages of her illness when Linda was in hospital, he let her friends come in and see her after hours as he knew how precious time was with her family during visiting time.”

William Millar said he was not in a good place and ended up in hospital for two weeks. While he was there Paul paid for and brought him his newspaper every day.

He said: “[Paul] was the glue that brought everyone together.”

After William was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, Paul became something of a guardian angel.

“One week before he died he even drove me for my treatment so I didn’t have to use the train – it was a round trip of more than 120 miles,” said William.

A public vote has opened to choose the winner of the award, which will be announced on October 12.

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