Nurse practitioner tickled pink with patient recognition

Student Bone Marrow Nurse Practitioner Jill Shergold’s thoughtful act toward one of her patients has prompted her to be nominated in the Juiced TV’s latest Super Hero Awards.

The awards are designed for patients to shine a light on hospital staff  who selflessly dedicate themselves to the wellbeing of others.

Eighteen-year-old Megan, who is no stranger to the wards of the Queensland Children’s Hospital, and who has bravely faced Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, said the thoughtfulness and care of hospital staff are what keeps her spirits high.

This care was felt deeply for Megan when Jill Shergold coordinated a ‘pink tea party’ during one of her longest admissions.

Seeing an opportunity to recognise this care, Megan and her family nominated Jill “I know they are the hospital staff, but they are our hospital family. They really are there for us in the darkest times,” Megan’s mother, Trina, said.

“Even though Megan had an amazing team of healthcare professionals behind her, Jill became a particular pillar of support. We wanted to acknowledge Jill because she went above and beyond her remit as a nurse to make sure Megan was comfortable.”

Megan was in remission from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. But after a moment’s relief, Megan’s second quarterly PET scan revealed the cancer had returned, and she would require further treatment.

Megan’s healthcare team determined a combination of stem cell transplant, excision and radiation would be the best way to remove her cancerous cells. As a specialist in bone marrow treatment, Jill stepped onto the scene.

“Megan and her family were so resilient. I would go to them, not always with good news, and they would meet difficult conversations pragmatically, always looking forward,” Jill said.

“A key moment for me was when Megan’s little sister volunteered to be her stem cell donor. I knew then I was working with an inspiring family.”

A tradition at Megan’s school was the Grade 12 ‘Pink Day’ to celebrate the last day of classes, an event Megan had looked forward to since starting high school. When the day arrived, Megan was in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit and too sick to attend.

In recognition of all that she had been through, Jill, with the support of a broader team in the hospital, planned a surprise ‘pink tea party’ for Megan in the hospital. It was the first time she’d seen her friends and grandad since starting her stem cell treatment.

“When you have such a strong, passionate young woman going through some of the most challenging treatments, it breaks your heart when they miss milestones like that,” Jill said.

“Megan was so surprised, and her friends were wonderful. I will always remember when her grandad said to me, ‘I’m so pleased to see this, you worry that she’s getting the best treatment, I can see now she is and that you all really care’.”

Megan is now an outpatient of the hospital while she continues treatment.

Juiced TV is a TV show made by the kids in hospital, for the kids in hospital.

The non-for-profit program provides an opportunity for patients and their siblings to star in their own show and share their hospital journey in an empowering and positive way, creating and connecting a community of hospital heroes.

Through the program, the organisers hope to relieve the distress and suffering experienced by children and their families during hospital admissions.

Juiced TV and its partner, superannuation fund QSuper, part of the Australian Retirement Trust, co-created the superhero program.

Working in partnership, the QSuper team and Juiced TV have helped recognise 18 incredible practitioners through the program.

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