WHILE you are relaxing over the festive season spare a thought for Marie Curie nurse Alison Lawrie-Marshall.
The mum of two will not be putting her feet up but helping others to relax instead as she cares for terminally ill people.
On Thursday Alison was in Spalding while Boxing Day will be spent in Grantham and New Year’s Eve in Tinwell.
The 44-year-old from Grantham will start at 10pm and finish at 7am as she cares for cancer patients in their home to make their last days more comfortable.
She is trained in palliative care which is about managing pain and other symptoms along with giving emotional and social support.
Alison said: “We are health care assistants rather trained nurses. However as more things are being introduced into the community we are being trained to use new equipment people have come home with or a way of administering medication so we can care for people 100 per cent at home.”
Her career began as a care assistant at St Barnabas Hospice in Grantham and after 18 months she trained to be a Marie Curie nurse which she has done for six years.
Usually she works either Christmas or New Year, but this is the first time she has worked both.
The mother of two boys aged 11 and 14 said: “My family are very supportive and understanding. My work is a big part of my life and is about getting a happy balance.”
As for travelling in the wintry weather Alison said it can sometimes be nerve wracking, but a log in system via the nurses’ mobile phones means Marie Curie knows where Alison is at all times.
Although some patients do give the nurses gifts Alison stresses the service is about giving good quality care and by working through the night means families who are caring for a loved one can have rest. The job is one she feels privileged to do as Christmas is a special time and is humbled by the fact people allow her into their house at such a time of the year.
Alison said: “We enable people to be with their family at Christmas or even their pets as some people like their animals to be with them.
“They are also in familiar surroundings and there are no restrictions on visiting hours. It is their choice to be at home and I think we should do all we can to make this happen.