Big thank you from

Mixed emotions as local nurse is awarded MBE

Anne Thompson with the letter she received confirming she has been awarded the MBE
	IT will be a day of mixed emotions for Anne Thompson from Drumbeg when she receives the MBE she was awarded in the Queens' Birthday Honours list.

For the two people who nominated Anne (60) for the award - her father and mother, James (90) and Martha (81) Armstrong from Armagh - both died last year and will never see their daughter recognised at Buckingham Palace.

Martha died suddenly last October just months after her beloved husband James who had complications after suffering a stroke.

Anne, a staff nurse in the spinal ward at Musgrave Park Hospital, only found out in May what her parents had been secretly up to after she received a letter from Buckingham Palace telling her she was to receive the MBE for services to Healthcare in Northern Ireland.

Convinced that it was joke mother-of-two Anne rang her husband, Jim. "I couldn't believe it. I thought for sure someone was playing a practical joke and couldn't wait to tell Jim" she said. When I rang him and asked him did he know anything about it he said he would explain all when he got home."

He told Anne her parents had put her name forward before they died in recognition of her service at Musgrave Park Hospital where she has worked for 43 years.

She has been a member of the Back Up Trust for 20 years, a charity that runs three distinctive services -wheelchair classes, mentoring and rehabilitation activities that help people travel away in a wheelcahir. Anne went away three times helping clients who are detraplegic as a support nurse.

She has also gone to their outdoor activity centre in Devon to help patients.

After Anne left school she did a nursing course in Armagh Technical College before joining Musgrave in April 1967 and has worked in the spinal cord injuries unit ever since.

"I love my job," said Anne. "You get to meet so many different people. People come in here of all ages and leave to a whole new way of life, many in wheelchairs. You get a bond with them and they are like your family."

She said that her parents would have been very proud to see her get the MBE. "They were both farmers and they did not want me to go into farming'" said Anne. They helped guide me towards nursing. Mum and dad would have been delighted." Anne is a member of Drumbeg W1 and a member of the Malone Country Scottish Dancing Club.

Ulster Star