One Of The Last Hospital Staff To Have Tended To Bradford Fire Victims On The Day Is Retiring

HealthLocal News

One of Bradford Teaching Hospitals’ last members of staff to tend to the injured on the day of the Bradford City Football Club Fire will retire at the end of this month.Nurse Sylvia Coleman, who has devoted her career to plastic surgery, was on duty at St. Luke’s Hospital on the day of the fire. She was allocated to the ‘receiving room’ where many of the victims were initially brought.
In the weeks and months following the fire, she tended to patients on the hospital’s plastic surgery wards, many of whom had suffered major burns to their hands and heads.
Sylvia, 56, from Allerton, said: “I remember the day of the fire as if it was yesterday.
“We were so overwhelmed in the days and weeks following the fire. Feeding times were particularly difficult for patients because of the multiple burns to their hands, they could not feed themselves, so members of the public would come in to help relieve staff so that we could concentrate on tending to the wounds.
“Many of the patients were traumatised from what they had been through or witnessed and there was many a tear shed among staff and patients as people relived the horrors of the fire or grieved for a relative they had lost. We consoled ourselves with a cup of tea, maybe a hug too, and then off you went back to your duties again. I also remember it being a time of great team work as it bonded nursing staff together forever.”
Sylvia has dedicated nearly 38 years’ service to the city’s patients. She began her nurse training at Bradford School of Nursing, based at St Luke’s Hospital in 1977 before going to work on the hospital’s burns, plastics and maxillofacial unit in 1980. She then moved to the Bradford Royal Infirmary’s plastics and maxillofacial ward before transferring to its plastics, trauma and dressing service in 2014.
In 1999 she was awarded a ‘Hospital Oscar’ for her services to the Trust and its patients, and in 2013 she was part of ward 19 which won the Foundation Trust’s Team of the Year for their work in making dramatic improvements on the busy unit, which also acted as a regional specialist centre for plastics and maxillofacial surgery.
Throughout her long nursing career, the victims of the Bradford fire have never been far from her thoughts.
She added: “Without a doubt, the fire has had the biggest effect on my nursing career. I remember the patients vividly; some I still see around the hospital from time to time, while others have become good friends.
“It was very humbling to be able to look after all those people and I was delighted that I got to renew acquaintances with many of them during events to commemorate the 30th anniversary last year. It helped to bring everything full circle for me, being reunited with the patients that we cared for. It also put some closure on it for me.
“The NHS has also been my little family for all these years. Without a doubt I will shed a tear when I take off my uniform and leave the hospital for the final time.”
Sylvia plans to spend the first few months of her retirement catching up with friends and family and travelling, before thinking about coming back to work at the hospitals as a volunteer,
When Sylvia retires, Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Terry Wood, 52, who was a student nurse in the BRI’s Emergency Department at the time, will be the Trust’s last remaining member of staff to have worked at the hospitals on the day of the Bradford Fire.

You May Also Like

Entertainment News
Distribution Outlets


Must Read

No results found.