'Mum, you're my inspiration' - meet the women who work with their mothers in the NHS

As we celebrate Mother's Day, we hear from three women who have followed their mums in to the NHS

As we celebrate Mother's Day, we hear from three women who have followed in their mums' footsteps to work for the NHS - Credit: Supplied by West Suffolk Hospital

Daughters who work for the same NHS trust as their mums have spoken of how proud they are of them ahead of Mother's Day this weekend.

The mothers and daughters, from Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich and Thetford, have a range of careers at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, from housekeeping to the emergency department and have been working to keep us all safe from Covid-19.

'I love you mum'
Catarina Fernandes is a housekeeper who joined West Suffolk Hospital in 2017, one year after her mum, Maria Lopes. They both live in Thetford.

Catarina Fernandes and Maria Lopes, who both work for West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.Mother's Da

Catarina Fernandes and Maria Lopes, who both work for West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust - Credit: Supplied by West Suffolk Hospital

Maria had always wanted to pursue a career in healthcare, and when an opportunity arose in 2016 to work for the NHS, she took it. Catarina said: “My mum loves being able to help the NHS by keeping the hospital clean and safe. She also loves chatting with patients and serving them drinks. She does everything to make their stay in hospital comfortable and enjoyable.”

Catarina is currently studying to become a paediatric student nurse and said that working with her mum has made the past year easier.

“The pandemic has definitely been challenging, but we’ve supported each other throughout which has been so good for both our physical and mental health,” she said.


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Catarina added: “Words cannot describe how proud I am of my mum. She is an incredible woman, who moved to this country to be able to give me a better life. She is a very hard-working person and always willing to help others. I love you mum.”

'Mum, I'm so proud of you'

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Ali Shorten, from Bury St Edmunds, has worked in the NHS since 1983.

Ali Shorten and Meg Mann, who both work for West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.
Mother's Day 2021.

Ali Shorten and Meg Mann. Ali works in the outreach team while her daughter Meg is currently the ward sister on cardiology - Credit: Supplied by West Suffolk Hospital

From a young age knew she was destined for nursing; it all began when she started bandaging her dolls and using lipstick to create fake wounds.

She now works in the outreach team, while her daughter Meg Mann, who lives in Ipswich, joined the team at West Suffolk Hospital 10 years ago and is currently the ward sister on cardiology.

Meg admitted that she wasn’t always keen on nursing, but is now pleased she followed in her mum's footsteps.

She said: “People always used to ask me if I wanted to be a nurse like my mum, but as a teenager I wasn’t sold on nursing. Now I know if I can be half the nurse my mum is I’d be very happy.”

She added: “Telling people that my mum is a critical care outreach nurse fills me with pride. Calling her as I drive home at the end of a shift always puts my mind at ease. I know I’m so fortunate to have someone to debrief with. Mum, I’m so proud of you, you’re my inspiration." 

'My mum is my best friend'

Alice Lowman and her mum Jo Lowman may be the first people you meet if you visit the emergency department at West Suffolk Hospital.

Jo Lowman and Alice Lowman, who both work for West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.Mother's Day 2021.

Jo Lowman and her daughter Alice Lowman. Alice is a receptionist in the emergency department at West Suffolk Hospital and her mum Jo is an emergency nurse practitioner - Credit: Supplied by West Suffolk Hospital

Alice, from Bury St Edmunds, is a receptionist in the department and has worked at the trust for four years.

Her mum Jo lives in Feltwell and is an emergency nurse practitioner who has worked in the department for 30 years.

Alice said that working through the pandemic with her mum has meant she’s been able to get through it.

“If it wasn’t for working with my mum at the hospital, I don’t know what I would have done,” she said.

“She is so kind and caring towards the patients and is so supportive of all staff.”

For Mothers’ Day, Jo wanted to say: “My mum is my best friend, my idol and the most inspirational person.

“Thank you for being the most amazing mother and showing me the importance of strength and independence.”

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