Its important for me to remember that my journey of trying to become a qualified children’s nurse has been far more important than the destination.
Firstly, I completed my access course and secured a place at university, to which there were only 60 places with over 300 applicants. 5 Months into my training, I went on my honeymoon and my life changed, we had severe car crash after a dolphin swim.
Barely escaping with my life, and after apparently shielding Dani from being hurt in the crash, I returned home from hospital to a hero’s welcome after losing nearly 3 stone in weight.
But Dani had found out she was pregnant whilst I was in a coma. 9 months later my daughter was born. After nearly two days of labour, she was delivered by emergency caesarean. She was not breathing, she had a punctured lung and sepsis and the doctors said she could die.
But thankfully she survived. I suffered a nervous breakdown when she was born and retreated into a dark traumatic place for some time. I went for intense rehab in Cambridge for 4 months to get myself ready for my return to nursing studies and I started back again the following September. After three months, tragedy struck. My mother in law died suddenly and tragically.
Because of the consistent trauma in our lives, my marriage broke down and I moved out of the marital home. Some time after this, I divorced from my wife. It was around this time that trauma struck again: whilst I was living out a suitcase my grandma deteriorated and died soon after. I was only on my second nursing placement at this point.
I rented a room in a house with a couple and their young daughter after my Grandma died. Everything seemed fine in my new home, but unbeknownst to me the couple had had an ulterior motive: they knew about my accident and my big court case and potential payout. The pretended to like me and extorted me without my knowing until one day I was physically attacked by the woman who was in a drunken rage. Again unbeknownst to me she was an alcoholic and drug abuser.
She phoned the police and told them and my university I had attacked her and that I need valium for aggression and that I shouldn’t be around children.
After undergoing an interview under caution at the police station the police realised she had been lying to try and get me to pay them off if they admitted that it was in fact me had been the victim. Marie Stockley then told my university that I had been abusive towards their 8 year old daughter and I was suspended and sent to a fitness to practice panel. During this period I found inner peace and I awoke.
The charges were finally dropped by the police and the panel.
I returned to placement 4 and did so well the dean of my university insisted that I represent the uni at a prestigious event at Westminster Abbey. Unfortunately my symptoms were too much for me to handle at this point and I had to decline.
Then I started my final nursing placement.
But staff had known about my head injury and it didn’t take long for their judgement to sink in. The staff didn’t appear to want to help me and I left the placement after 4 weeks and watched my student-colleagues of 3 years graduate ahead of me.
My university decided to send me to the most cognitively demanding speciality in nursing: neonatal intensive care. This would show if the concerns staff had previously raised were correct. I insisted that no one there should know about my condition and see what happens. I passed with 4 A*s and a letter from my mentor to the university saying she had not once noticed a memory slip or lack of concentration.
But my time of NNU drained me. Not for the first time, I had burned out and become exhausted.
My consultant neurologist had said I needed to take time out of my programme. But time was already running out. I ignored his advice and returned to start my final placement which would be 7 months long. After spending an entire christmas in bed, I resumed my training on the 2nd of January this year.
I have left out many events that have happened in between that are very significant, but I need to write this for me and keep it relatively ‘brief’.
I have known sadness of epic proportions when my wife found a boyfriend shortly after I moved into my flat. I know the pain of always needing to tell my daughter “I can only see you twice this week’ or “I can’t take you to the party because of my head’.
Reese told me once: ‘I like being unwell because then you look after me like the children at work’.
Today is the official last official day of my final nursing placement. The bursary has gone and I will not be granted anymore money. I am in a mountain of debt and I am going to court on Monday if I am unable to settle with them today.
My journey has changed me. I have understood that the only way you can achieve your goals in life is to fight with peace, understanding, forgiveness and compassion. I have no anger towards Marie Stockley, the lawyers, my ex wife, the staff who didn’t give me a chance on my placement(s) or anyone else who has put up a brick wall for me to try and break down over the years. I only have understanding and peace towards them.
I’ll finish with this scenario:
Poole Hospital – TBI ward 2011
I was half asleep and in pain. I was scared and wanted to get back to my nursing and my friends. A nurse entered:
‘Mikey, your love for nursing is great, but it’s time to think of another career choice now’
It just can’t be done. I’m so sorry.
..and would you believe it. 7 years later (two days ago) I became a qualified children’s nurse!
I know anything is possible for anyone. Never let anyone tell you something cannot be done. You just need to be crazy enough to have the audacity to be willing to be pushed past your limits and go through hell to achieve it.
Thank all of you