Hospital nurse collapses and dies during farewell shift

A NURSE'S operating theatre colleagues tried in vain to save her life after she collapsed on her last working day at Royal Derby Hospital.


Theatre technician Jennifer Given was scrubbing up as she prepared to assist in surgery. The 46-year-old was only two hours into her last shift when she was taken seriously ill.

Jennifer Given

Son Tom Spencer said: "She went into the toilets before going into theatre but when she didn't come back, her work colleagues found she had collapsed."

The surgery team immediately went to work to try to save her life, but she never regained consciousness.

Mr Spencer, of Belper, said: "It must have been hard for all her work colleagues to have to operate on her. They worked on her for a long, long time. I know it's a cliche, but they really did do all that they could for her."

"After she died, all of her work friends went to say goodbye to her. It was a horrible situation for them to walk into but they just wanted to pay their last respects."

A post-mortem examination showed Mrs Given died from a ruptured gall bladder.

She was working her final shift last Friday before moving to Yorkshire this week.

Mr Spencer, 26, and his brother, Rob, 25, said their mum "lived for the moment".

He said: "She was a happy and bubbly person and always up for a laugh. A lot of her work friends have written really nice things on her Facebook page, saying how lovely she was."

Brother Rob said Matlock-born Mrs Given, who lived in Burton, had complained of a stomach ache that morning.

He said: "She thought it was down to a mix of nerves and excitement because it was her last day but now we realise it could have been her gall bladder."

Mrs Given, who trained as a nurse 22 years ago, was moving to Bridlington with husband Wayne to be near her parents, who recently moved there from New Zealand. She was due to start a new job as a theatre nurse there on Monday.

Tom Spencer said: "Mum was so excited about moving to Bridlington. She'd taken in lots of chocolates and sweets on her last day. The following day she was having a big event at Darley Park for all her friends and family as a going-away party. She was always organising work outings for her colleagues because she didn't like sitting around doing nothing."

Sue James, Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust chief executive, said: "On behalf of myself and fellow Trust Board colleagues, I have been in touch with Jenny's husband, Wayne, to express deepest sympathies at his tragic loss."

"I know her friends and colleagues at the hospital are distraught; she was a much-loved member of the theatres team."

Tom Spencer said the hospital had rearranged some minor day case operations on Thursday, the day of her funeral, so her work colleagues could attend.

He said: "It's been really difficult because she died at such a young age. We never spoke about what she wanted at her funeral because she died so unexpectedly."

"In the last year of her life she got to witness her son getting married and the birth of her first grandchild, Noah. She had some really good times. She would not have had any regrets."

"Mum lived for the moment. She never saved money or anything, she just did what she wanted to do. She was really popular and had a lot of friends. It didn't matter how old they were because she would go out with anyone and adapt to any sort of situation."

Mrs Given lived in Burton for two years. Before that she lived in Willington and Breadsall Hilltop.

Her funeral is at noon on Thursday at Markeaton Crematorium. The family have asked for donations in lieu of flowers to go to Royal Derby Hospital League of Friends and Cancer Research UK. They should be sent to Derby and District Funeral Directors, Park Farm Centre, Allestree.

Source: This is Derbyshire

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