Winning an award is always special but winning one after being nominated by a patient must be extra special when the recipient is a nurse. Just ask Joanna O’Toole from Manchester who won the patient’s choice category of the RCNi Nurse Awards. And boy does she deserve it. For Mrs O’Toole is terminally ill with breast cancer and despite being forced to retire after she was told she would not survive past Christmas 2016, she continues to volunteer at the children’s hospital in Manchester where she cares for a 12 year old girl. Amelie Chen suffers from Charge syndrome, a debilitating condition which causes acute physical and mental disabilities. It was Amelie’s mother Lesley who nominated Mrs O’Toole for the award. Ms Chen describes the nurse as “wonderful and courageous” and added “Jo makes me feel safe. She knows our girl so well. She has stayed on after her shift finished many times to sit with us. She is always positive and offers adult company in what can be a lonely hospital world. I don’t know how we will manage without her. It will feel empty without Jo in all our lives”. True to hero form, Mrs O’ Toole downplays her incredible acts of kindness “I care for children and their families as I would care for my own,” she said. “Lesley’s nomination was very touching. It made me very tearful. You have to give the care you would want for your own family. No half measures. I was given until Christmas and I am still here. I am living my life like I have always taught the children in my care. I have always encouraged them to live their lives, not wait around. They have taught me an awful lot in terms of how to manage the situation. I believe that is why I am doing so much better than anyone expected.” How about that for inspiring?