A woman who lost her sister to cancer three months before starting her Nursing degree, has shared her inspiring story after graduating with First Class Honours.
Sophie Yeomans was a single mother with a six-month-old daughter when she signed up to study at the University of Worcester with the hope of providing a better life for the two of them.
But just three months before she was to embark on what was meant to be a happy new chapter, her sister passed away.
“My first placement allocated was oncology at Worcestershire Royal Hospital,” she recalled. “This raised a mixture of emotions for me. But, despite my reservations, it turned out to be what I needed to grieve. Being able to comfort people in their worst moments made me realise the kind of nurse I wanted to be. This experience also made me think fondly of the clinicians who cared for me sister in her final days.”
As Sophie, from Bromsgrove, was settling into her studies, while working as a Health Care Assistant at HMP Hewell, the global Covid-19 pandemic struck, throwing the world into uncertainty.
“During the early days of the pandemic, I put all of my energy into my team within HMP Hewell,” she said. “Due to the compelling will to support my team and my patients, I regrettably failed my second year, having to retake a module.”
However, despite the setback, Sophie continued to work hard and in 2021 met her partner and fell pregnant with her second daughter.
“Covid-19 finally caught me, and I became quite unwell whilst pregnant, resulting in a difficult pregnancy,” she said. “Despite this challenging time, I still pushed through and continued my studies, passing my retake and two months after giving birth I resumed the final year of my degree.
“With an enormous amount of support from my partner, mother, father and mother-in-law, I am incredibly proud to say that I passed my final year and obtained a First-Class degree. I am proud to be able to show my daughters that through determination and hard work, anything is possible.”
Sophie is now working as a staff nurse at HMP Hewell and is the student lead for the University, hoping to show the value in prison nursing.
“Providing care to people who have often had awful starts to life and taken wrong turns isn’t for the faint-hearted, but is something that I am very passionate about,” she said.
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