Good (Ms) Bye
“Debbie inspired me to go on to work with children as a sensory support assistant, and I think everything I have done is down to the way she realised that spirited, rebellious teenager was a real person, no matter what was wrong with her.” Debbie is a Ms Debbie Bye who worked as a nurse at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge back in 1989. The ‘spirited rebellious teenager’ is a Ms Liz Brown who, when she was 14 years old, spent four months at the hospital in 1989 being treated for cancer. Ms Brown fondly remembers Ms Bye helping her get through the painful treatment all those years ago by making her do “silly things”, such as delivering post to adult patients, “to make it less painful than it could be”, Ms Brown said. Almost 30 years on and the now 43 year old mother of three from East Riding launched an appeal on social media for information that might help her track down Ms Bye so that she could thank her for all she did. It worked a treat. After more than 2,000 people retweeted Ms Brown’s post, it eventually reached Ms Bye, who it turns out now lives in Derbyshire where she works in a nursery. Ms Bye was delighted to hear from her former charge: “I often wondered what happened to Lizzy. I was there when she was diagnosed. I knew she had been given roughly five years maximum to live and was struggling to walk again… I just tried to make it home from home. We did bobbing apples and went on day trips. We even had nights where we took the kids to nurse’s flats and just had pizza and watched videos. I enjoyed my job and did my job to the best I could, but didn’t feel like I had made that much impact on someone that 30 years later they could remember my name – it’s a bit overwhelming,” added Ms Bye. Proof if ever it was needed that a simple ‘thank you’ does goes a long way.