A nurse who has spent 20 years helping the Isle of Man’s newborn babies and their families has said he is ‘gobsmacked’ to be nominated for an award.
Paul McCann, lead neonatal nurse at the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) at Noble’s hospital, has been nominated in the Emergency and Health Services category of Isle of Man Newspapers’ Pride in Mann Awards.
Paul leads a team of 13 in the unit, which cares for up to 150 of the island’s babies each year from as early as 27 weeks and can offer intensive care. The SCBU moved into a new £9 million facility next to the Jane Crookall Maternity Ward in April this year.
He’s been nominated by SCBU supporter Marion Taggart, who came up with the idea while fundraising.
She said: ‘It quickly became apparent how many mentioned Paul’s name and what a difference his caring and kind and considerate approach to those families had made to their experiences.
‘He has helped so many families through difficult times with sick children on the unit and everyone was unified in saying what a great guy he his and his professional approach is exceptional.’
She continued: ‘He has just the right approach with parents and it is clear from meeting him how dedicated he is to the SCBU and that he frequently goes above and beyond what’s required to ensure the very best care for the babies on the unit as well as supporting the parents.
‘Some had sadly lost a child during that time and many more had good outcomes but they all said such lovely things about Paul and what a credit he was to our team of healthcare professionals.
‘He is long overdue some recognition as a special person that stays in the memories of so many families thanks to the important role he plays in helping them get their babies home.’
Paul told the Examiner that he was ‘gobsmacked’ by the nomination. ‘I was choked up reading those words, I’m very humbled by it,’ he said.
‘It’s funny to read her words because I don’t see my role like that at all. Whenever I describe what I do, I always say to people that I have the best job in the world with the best team in the world. And now we have a new unit, we have the best environment - I’m the happiest man in the world!
‘It’s a real privilege to do this job. It really teaches you what life is all about, and how precious it is.’
He was quick to point out that the SBCU is a team effort and everyone is deserving of recognition. ‘Marion’s words are wonderful but to me they could describe any one of us,’ he said.
He added that the parents are the real heroes. ‘If only the parents knew how we look at them - they’re the ones that we admire,’ he said. ‘They have to go through all the worry and stress and they always find a way to cope. We would love to be able to take away all that anxiety.’
Pride in Mann is an awards scheme from Isle of Man Newspapers and the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company which aims to recognise unsung heroes in the Manx community.
Nominate online at prideinmann.com