In the realm of healthcare, there exists a special group of Jessie May nurses who go above and beyond their call of duty. Among them is Gemma who is one of our nurses from Jessie May; she has become an integral part of young Ozzie’s life for over five years. Her support extends beyond medical care, offering comfort, companionship, and even stepping in to make a significant difference on his mother’s wedding day.
Ozzie’s life took an unexpected turn when, at just four months old, he experienced his first seizure. This marked the beginning of a long and challenging journey that would see him spend six months at Bristol Children’s Hospital. The diagnosis was Early Myoclonic Encephalopathy, accompanied by myoclonic jerks, hearing impairment, and visual impairment. Ozzie’s condition requires him to be tube-fed, and he has a port and a BNS (Brain-Computer Interface Neural Stimulator) implanted. It was during this trying period that he was referred to Jessie May by the hospital.
Gemma entered Ozzie’s life at the age of 10 to 11 months. Gem was there from the very beginning, which has allowed her to build an intimate understanding of Ozzie’s unique needs and personality. Her long-term presence has created a bond that extends beyond the professional realm.
For Ozzie and his family, the Jessie May nurses have become more than just healthcare providers; they have become family and friends. Ozzie’s mother explains, “The nurses are like family, and like friends; I can tell them about any issues going on but can also have a laugh; it’s lovely and very relaxed, with no awkwardness at all.” The atmosphere during their visits is warm and inviting, often with the nurses and Ozzie sharing light moments like watching TV (mainly The Kardashians), reading books, painting and more.
One of the most significant advantages of having Jessie May nurses is that Ozzie receives care within the comfort of his own home, a place where he feels secure and content. The nurses not only tend to his medical needs but also offer a holistic approach, including bathing, brushing his teeth, and other daily activities that ensure he enjoys the best quality of life. Their approach is tailored to what Ozzie requires so there are also plenty of cuddles and hair strokes thrown in to make him feel extra relaxed.
Gemma says ‘I have known Ozzie and his family for around 5 years now. During this time I have developed a lovely relationship with both Ozzie and his family. They are so welcoming to all of the Jessie May nurses, and we all absolutely love our visits there. Oz is his happiest at home and loves a cuddle and a hair stroke, so we always make sure that snugs happen on the sofa during our visits.’
Not only does this benefit him, but the visits provide his mother with the opportunity to take care of essential tasks such as visiting people, picking up prescriptions, cleaning her car and more. These visits are not only about medical care but also about offering respite and support to the family.
As Oz turns six years old in June, his journey is still ongoing. The amazing support of Jessie May nurses remains a constant in his life, adapting to his evolving needs and challenges with each passing day.
A Wedding Day to Remember
One of the most heartwarming stories of Jessie May nurses going above and beyond is Gemma’s contribution to Ozzie’s parent’s wedding day in December 2021. Gemma arrived as the bride was getting ready and took charge of Ozzie’s care. Despite Oz not feeling well that day, Gemma ensured he received the best care possible and made sure that mum & dad didn’t need to worry; in fact, they didn’t know that Ozzie was unwell because Gemma took care of him so well.
Gemma’s presence on this special day took the pressure off Ozzie’s parents, allowing them to enjoy their wedding without worrying about their son’s well-being. Gem seamlessly fit into the festivities, showing incredible dedication and compassion while caring for Ozzie.
Gemma said, ‘It was a real privilege to be part of Sam and Jay’s wedding day, and an honour that they trusted me to take care of Oz. They were able to enjoy their special day, knowing that Oz was very much part it, but that they were also able to celebrate and have time together in the knowledge that Oz was being cared for by someone that knows him really well.’
The Jessie May nurses are more than just healthcare professionals; they are a lifeline of support, friends, and family to Oz and his loved ones. Their dedication and commitment to providing specialised care has made a profound impact on the lives of the children and families we support. Ozzie’s story is a testament to the incredible work these nurses do, reminding us all of the incredible difference a Jessie May nurse can make in the lives of those they care for.