Student nurse Abi Duffy at Alder Hey © Alder Hey

A student nurse at Edge Hill University has made an emotional return to work on the same hospital ward where she was treated for a rare form of leukaemia as a teenager.  

Abi Duffy, 23, was treated at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool after being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia when she was just 15.  

Abi, from St Helens, needed four rounds of chemotherapy at Alder Hey and later underwent a bone marrow transplant, donated by her brother Cairan, at Manchester Children’s Hospital, before being given the all clear in 2013. 

Seven years later, she has started a placement on the same oncology ward where she was a patient and now hopes to help other children battling the disease.  

Inspired by her experience and the Alder Hey staff who treated her, Abi is currently in her second year studying Children’s Nursing at Edge Hill. 

She said: “I feel honoured to say that I’m a children’s nurse at Edge Hill and feel as though studying here has given me the best start to my nursing career. I feel fully supported while out in placement and at University, which allows me to achieve my full potential. I want to be a paediatric nurse because I want to be able to help other children the way that the nurses helped me when I was diagnosed. I feel like nursing is where my heart lies and it’s because of Alder Hey that I decided to pursue this career.” 

John Morgan, Senior Lecturer in Nurse Education and Abi’s personal teacher, said: “Nursing is one of the most honourable and rewarding career paths there is, to be able to care for others and comfort them in some of their most difficult moments. It’s a testament to Abi’s character that after overcoming her own health challenges as a patient at Alder Hey, she is now returning as a student nurse to help others in that situation.   

“Having experienced such a major setback in her childhood and using this experience as a force for good to help other children is an inspiration. Abi always strives to achieve her best and we regularly receive positive feedback from the patients and families who she cares for.   

“Now more than ever, the profession needs student nurses like Abi who demonstrate this deep care and compassion and can understand the patients’ experience.” 

Edge Hill’s Faculty of Health, Social Care & Medicine is one of the largest providers of health and social care education in the North West of England and home to the new Medical School

If you are interested in studying Nursing at Edge Hill, you can find out more about the range of programmes on offer by visiting our subject page.