Your support in actionShermin's Story

Ill-health forced Shermin to quit the job she loved

Shermin's Story

"Nursing was my life and the illness meant I became so isolated. That was the biggest blow for me"

When former Community Nurse Shermin was diagnosed with end stage kidney failure everyday life as she knew it suddenly stopped. Her devastating illness robbed her of a job she loved, financial stability and at times she barely had the strength to look after her family.

“It was a job I loved but it came to an abrupt end,” said Shermin, aged 51 who lives in Birmingham. “I had some blood tests and my GP told me I had end stage kidney failure. It was a great shock and I soon became very ill.”

With two sons, who were very young at the time, aged just 7 and 2, it put an enormous strain on Shermin and her husband Denniston, himself a healthcare assistant at a residential home.

“I went from having a well-paid job to struggling financially and that affected me emotionally – I had always been a strong person, with everyone relying on me.

"It’s so hard to ask for help when you are so used to giving help.”

Shermin had been a nurse for 27 years – training as a State Enrolled Nurse at Queen Elizabeth Hospital,  working her way up to Registered General Nurse status, then district nurse and finally as a carers’ coordinator, supporting terminally ill people and their carers.

It was Shermin’s support worker at Birmingham family support services who put her in touch with Cavell Nurses’ Trust. A shortage of money meant the family was unable to replace three beds, two of them broken, plus new bedding was needed.

A grant of £1,300 put that right and paid for a short break for the family to enjoy some much-needed time together, away from the stresses of everyday life.

Three times a week Shermin must go for dialysis to keep her alive and she is hopeful of getting a place on the transplant list in the foreseeable future. Shermin’s life-long Christian faith helps her to see the support she receives as blessings and realise the importance of accepting help from others. Shermin helps out with the local children’s ministry through her church and she has just been appointed as a volunteer bereavement support worker, a role where she is looking forward to using her professional expertise.

Click here to contact Cavell Nurses' Trust

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