A registered nurse, who has devoted his life for over 20 years to caring for his wife who is very severely ill with M.E, was awarded a runners-up place in the ‘Nurse of the Year’ awards last Friday night.
Greg Crowhurst was named third-placed winner at the awards ceremony organised by the British Journal of Nursing. He declined to attend the glittering ceremony at Shakespeare’s Underglobe in London to receive the award in person.
“I had to make the difficult decision not to attend the Ceremony in person. It highlights the stark reality of caring for someone with this devastating, neglected neurological disease. My priority has to be my wife’s health. In the end there is no greater choice,” he wrote in his Stonebird blog.
“People involved in the care of people with Severe/Very Severe ME have to make these choices every single day. I was proud to have been with the person who needed me, despite the loss and the cost.
“My absence, on some small level, was a reminder of the many who could never attend such a wonderful, sparkling gathering, for the environment itself, the noise, the light, the people, the perfumes, the food, the movement, the alcohol, are impossibly out of reach for a person with Severe ME.
“I would have loved to attend the award ceremony, the height of my nursing career.”
His wife Linda – in a posting before the awards were announced – wrote of her husband:
“Greg, is a wonderful, kind, compassionate, enthusiastic, determined and committed man, who has dedicated his life to loving me despite me having the most horrendous and devastating neurological disease in one of the most severe forms.
“This in itself is incredible, seen from my perspective alone. Not only has he loved me and cared for me for over two decades and not abandoned me, as many others sadly find, in similar circumstances, but he has also dedicated his life to speaking up for all of us who have this misinterpreted, misrepresented, mistreated disease, adamant that the truth will be to told in order to get better care and medical services provided.”
Mr Crowhurst, a prolific author on M.E. and carer subjects, first came to the attention of the M.E. world in 2006 while giving evidence at an inquiry into the state of care for people with ME/CFS in the UK, which was chaired by Dr Ian Gibson MP.
Called to give evidence, he started plucking Kleenex hankies from a box – while denouncing a string of misperceptions about the illness as “Yet another tissue of lies”.