WONDER nurse Rayanne Durnion lovingly cares for cancer sufferers - while her own son battles a million-to-one health condition back at home.
The Sunderland Royal Hospital specialist chemotherapy nurse is part of a team in the Phoenix Unit which helps up to 70 people a day.
It’s really rewarding to be with a patient who is going through their journey of treatment. I see it as a privilege to help people through that journey.Rayanne Durnion, cancer nurse
But behind the smiles, Rayanne, 35, has her own astonishing story. Each night at home, she provides care to her own little hero.
Her seven-year-old son Samuel Cumpson has a daily battle with the rare blood condition Diamond Blackfan Anaemia (DBA) which is where he fails to produce red blood cells properly.
He was diagnosed at just three months old and almost died from it as a baby.
He was rushed into hospital and given an emergency blood transfusion which saved his life. A bone marrow transfusion confirmed he had DBA.
Now, the youngster needs blood transfusions every four weeks at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.
He also has a 10-hour infusion of medication each night into his stomach because he suffers from a severe iron overload in his body.
And he’s waiting to have a bone marrow transplant at St Mary’s Hospital in London after a perfect match was found through the Anthony Nolan organisation.
Rayanne’s incredible warmth at work has won her a nomination in this year’s Echo Best of Health Awards.
It came from a Sunderland resident who wrote: “Although she has personal problems, she never lets this distract her.
“She is a professional, caring person who has one aim, and that is to help and support patients. Rayanne deserves to be recognised for the work she does.”
But modest Rayanne, from Wolviston Court, Billingham, and who also has a two-year-old son Corey-Ray, played down the incredible work she does.
“I am just doing my job,” she said. “It is the type of person I am.
“I want to give the best care to people because that’s what other people are giving to my son.”
Rayanne said it is “really rewarding to be with a patient who is going through their journey of treatment. I see it as a privilege to help people through that journey.”
After a full day at work, she goes home to be with her two sons.
Rayanne added: “Samuel just wants to be well. He says he does not want to have transfusions any more.
“He’s old enough now to start asking questions about where his illness has come from but despite all of this, he is just a happy little boy.”
His condition has not gone unnoticed by young brother Corey-Ray either.
Rayanne added: “He is fit and healthy, but he tells me he wants needles in his tummy so he can be like his brother.”
She described Samuel as a “totally incredible little boy.”
Rayanne joins an ever-increasing impressive list of entrants in this year’s Best of Health awards, but we want even more.
It’s easy to nominate and you can do it either by filling in the form on this page or by going online and nominating on the JPNE Events website.
Feel free to put forward as many of your favourite health workers as you think deserve honours.
So whether it’s your favourite GP, an outstanding nurse or a popular carer, there’s a category for all parts of our health profession.
All entries must be received by Friday, March 20. After that, a panel of judges will meet around a week later to begin the difficult task of narrowing down the field.
They will draw up a shortlist in each of our categories. And all those who make it to the shortlist will be invited to the finals at the Stadium of Light on Thursday, April 16.
To nominate, either fill in the form in today’s paper or enter online HERE.