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Nurse’s heroic actions honoured with new award

Published 05/07/2017
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An off-duty theatre nurse from Royal Derby Hospital who rushed to help the injured following the recent terrorist attack in Manchester has been given a special Pride of Derby award in recognition of her achievement. 

Georgina Foulk and her fiancé James Smith gave first aid support to casualties outside Manchester Arena after a bomb exploded at the end of an Ariana Grande concert held in the city on 22 May. They stayed with the people hurt in the blast for several hours while paramedics helped the most seriously injured patients, remaining with one woman for four hours until she was taken to hospital. 

Her bravery that night prompted Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to create a brand new award recognising outstanding contributions made by staff. Georgina, who works as a Paediatric Theatre Nurse in Children’s Theatres, was presented with the special accolade on Tuesday (4 July).

Georgina said: “When we came out of the arena and saw all the people who were injured I knew immediately I had to help. There was no way I could have run off; it’s my job to help people. 

“I feel very proud and flattered to receive this award. I never win things normally, so it’s very overwhelming. It’s a bit strange but it’s really lovely to have been nominated by so many people. It’s something positive which has come out of something so awful.”

The couple were among the crowds leaving the concert when they heard a loud noise, as the bomb was set off in the foyer. They were caught up in the chaos as thousands of fans tried to escape from the arena. It was only when they then went outside that they saw the extent of the incident. 

Georgina said: “It was all a bit of a blur. There were lots of people sitting around, very clearly injured, and a lot of walking wounded. I saw a girl on her own with a medic from the arena, and the adrenalin just kicked in. I went to help so the medic could help somebody else, and tried to do what I could. She was bleeding and she was in shock, so I had to make sure she stayed awake. There was an amazing sense of community on the night. Everyone was helping each other.”

Chief Nurse Cathy Winfield said: “I was staggered by Georgina’s bravery, compassion and resilience in staying to treat and support casualties in the immediate aftermath of the incident, and staying on to support the emergency services once they were on site. She personifies everything we try to achieve as nurses and encompasses the values we hold dear at Derby. I feel immensely proud to have her as part of our nursing family.”

Chief executive Gavin Boyle added: “For me, Pride of Derby is all about recognising just a small number of colleagues that really do show our values and really go the extra mile to put patients first. Many colleagues have praised Georgina’s bravery, compassion and resilience.”


Last Modified 05/07/2017