A STUDENT’S battle to overcome the adversity of Crohn’s Disease inspired her to become a children’s nurse to help others with the condition.

Helena Corbett has been a regular patient at Worcestershire Royal Hospital (WRH) since the age of nine after being diagnosed with the lifelong digestive condition.

Throughout her childhood, Miss Corbett, 21, from Worcester, continued to attend the children’s clinic every six weeks for blood tests, medication and ongoing investigations.

She was also admitted to the children’s ward on a number of occasions due to complications with her condition.

By the age of 10, the experience of these regular visits and the dedicated care and treatment she received had inspired her to want to go into children’s nursing herself.

“I cannot thank the staff from the clinic at Worcestershire Royal enough and I feel indebted to them for the care and support they provided me,” she said.

“These are the nurses who inspired me at 10 years old to become a children’s nurse myself.

“I found that the passion they had and the attributes they displayed towards me, also reflected within me.”

“My journey has not always been easy; there have been relapses along the way, but I have always remained strong and resilient because of the overwhelming care, support and empathy from the children’s clinic team.”

After choosing to transition into adult care services at the earliest opportunity to take a greater role in her on-going care, Miss Corbett was intent on accomplishing her dream of becoming a children’s nurse.

Successfully passing her GCSEs and A-Levels – she was accepted onto her first choice of nurse training degree at the University of Birmingham.

Once at university, Miss Corbett stayed in regular contact with the team from the Children’s Clinic at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, despite not receiving her care from them anymore.

In the second year of her student nurse training, Miss Corbett was able to choose where she undertook her next training placement, choosing WRH.

“I was told that I could arrange my placement anywhere, so I chose to go back to a place that I had been able to experience as a patient,” she said.

“The idea of being able to go back to the children’s clinic ‘on the other side’ as a student really interested me.”

Melanie Chippendale, advanced nurse practitioner from the WRH children’s clinic, said: “It was obvious form the start of her placement that Helena was a hardworking and committed student.

“Her rapport with staff, children and families was excellent and it was very apparent that she draws on all of her experiences both personal and professional to guide her nursing practice”.

In April Miss Corbett was nominated and then shortlisted as one of 10 national finalists for the Student Children’s Nurse of the Year award in the Student Nursing Times Awards.

Miss Corbett also volunteers sharing her personal experience at a local Inflammatory Bowel Disease Parent and Patient Panel.

She has received a job offer from Birmingham Children’s Hospital to start in the autumn after she’s completed her degree in that city.

This means she will be nursing children on the same ward she was first admitted to more than a decade ago.

Her blog: onmeyouandcrohns.wordpress.com