Heroes who saved baby's life, paramedics granting last wishes and duo helping veterans all up for Who Cares Wins award | The Sun

THEY say team work makes the dream work – and these terrific teams prove that’s absolutely true.

We were amazed at the incredible work carried out by not just one heroic healthcare worker, but whole groups who pull together to give their patients the very best care.

The finalists in the Best Team category for The Sun’s Who Cares Wins awards, sponsored by the National Lottery and in partnership with NHS Charities Together, are made of stern stuff.

They include a team of medics who saved a baby girl’s life when her heart failed, and then kept her alive for more than a year until she was able to have a heart transplant.

And a team of paramedics and ambulance technicians who selflessly give up their time to grant wishes for terminally ill patients. 

Plus there’s a determined duo who between them have helped hundreds of veterans access medical treatment – and so much more.

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The winner will be honoured at a star-studded awards ceremony hosted by Davina McCall and screened on Channel 4 and All 4 on September 24.

Here are the teams that made the final cut…


NOT only do these big-hearted paramedics and ambulance technicians save lives day in and day out, they also give up their free time to grant wishes for end-of-life patients.

The wishes carried out by the amazing volunteers for the Welsh Ambulance 'Wish' Service include taking a patient for one last trip to the beach and another to a loved one’s wedding. 

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The initiative was launched in 2019 and so far, the 180 volunteers – who all work for the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust – have granted more than 50 wishes.

The Trust's assistant director of ambulance care, Mark Harris, who nominated the team, said: "We've granted a huge variety of wishes. 

“Often it is very simple things. They might want to go home one last night or they might want to attend a loved one's wedding or funeral.

"One last trip to the beach is a common one. But the volunteers have also taken patients to an Elton John concert and a football stadium."

When a wish comes in, a request goes out to all those registered to see if anyone can help.

Mark says: "What amazes me is that some of these volunteers have very difficult jobs. 

“They are dealing with traumatic incidents and saving lives day in, day out. 

“And yet, on their day off, they choose to help someone at the end of their life. 

“Wales is a big country and they might drive for hours to get the ambulance before collecting the patient. 

“Yet when a request goes out, we have volunteers in seconds."

One wish was for Spencer Taylor, who died of skin cancer aged 51 last September. 

He had been diagnosed with cancer six years earlier and, while in hospital, happened to mention to a nurse how much he loved Saundersfoot Beach.

His wife Lisa, 56, from Llandow, in the Vale of Glamorgan, said: "Spencer was in a room on his own which he loved as it meant he could have lots of family come to visit, but his window looked out at a brick wall. 

“He'd say he wanted to feel the air on his face, to know what was going on outside.

"Saundersfoot was a very special place for us.

“I didn't think any more of it, but the night before his birthday she messaged me to say she'd got him his wish.”

Ambulance care assistant Katie Morgans, 27, and Joella Scanlan, an emergency medical technician, collected Spencer from hospital and took him to the beach.

Lisa recalled: "For a few hours, we didn't think about cancer at all. 

“It gave me an opportunity to see my husband as I wanted to see him and not just in sickness. 

“He'd been poorly for so long but his face looked bright, he was happy.

"He had an ice cream. We joked that he should be on a diet. Now he's gone, those memories are so precious."

Lisa describes the Wish volunteers as “angels”'. 

She said: "It's very easy to think about the illness and the awful memories of how someone deteriorated. 

“It is these memories you really need when someone is gone.

“I can't thank these guys enough. Thanks to them he felt the air on his face one more time. 

“It meant the world to him – and to me."


WHEN nurse Fiona Lamb heard that an army veteran who had been in and out of hospital had died by suicide, she decided to take action.

The Clinical Site Manager at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust asked to create a role as armed forces champion, having been shocked to find there was currently no extra support given to veterans who needed treatment.

Now, she and colleague Shafiq Sadiq, known as Sid, have supported more than 1,500 veterans since 2019.

Fiona, 57, said: “I had quite a soft spot for the patient who sadly took his own life, and I started looking at what the trust did for our armed forces. We didn’t do a great deal.

“I went to the trust executives and said I want to be the armed forces champion and they said: ‘Crack on’, so I did!”

She and Sid are the first port of call at the trust and make sure all veterans’ medical and psychological needs are met. 

Fiona explained: “Between Sid and his military knowledge and me with my nursing head, we pincer it. 

“There’s only two of us and we are making a difference.”

Sid, 56, says: “We’ve helped homeless veterans, quite a few that suffer from PTSD or have issues with mental health, alcohol, or drugs. 

“We were one of the first teams across the UK to undertake this particular role.”

Armed Forces Veteran Advocate Sid served in the Royal Army Dental Corps for 22 years and was in Bosnia, Iraq and Sierra Leone. 

As well as being a medic he qualified as a Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Warfare Instructor.

He said: “Once patients know I’m a veteran and that I understand the same terminology, we’ve been to the same places, experienced the same things, they tend to relax a bit more. 

“They are more willing to engage and get the help that they so deservedly need."

Former soldier Shane Barberel, 37, who served in the Falklands and Afghanistan, said: “I went to hospital with stomach pains, but the ward was packed. 

“Fiona saw me struggling with a big crowd and put me in a single room. She understood my anxiety.”

The team was nominated by Andrew Powell, managing director of Healthier Heroes, a veterans support hub based at Bancroft House, Burnley.

Andrew, 42, says: “We provide support and accommodation for homeless veterans who struggle with mental health and addiction. 

“Inevitably we have periods of time where people end up in A&E for whatever reason and Fiona and Sid are our single point of contact. 

“It really is true what they say; all heroes don’t wear capes.

“It’s just the two of them and they work tirelessly to ensure that nobody is missed, everybody's heard and they get the treatment they rightfully deserve after serving their country. They are absolutely amazing.”


WHEN devastated parents Cheryl Adamson and Terry Archbold agreed for their stillborn daughter Isobel to become an organ donor, they never imagined they would later be in the position of waiting for a donor themselves.

But five years on, their youngest daughter Beatrix suffered a cardiac arrest and needed a heart transplant to stay alive.

Little Beatrix was just 15 months old when she underwent emergency surgery to connect her to an artificial heart to save her life. 

Not only did the amazing Children’s Cardiology team at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle bring Beatrix back from the brink, but they kept her alive for more than a year, until finally, they carried out a life-saving transplant.

Despite it being rare to successfully carry out this type of surgery on a child as young as two, the incredible team made sure that Beatrix is able to live a happy and fun-filled life.

Beatrix was rushed to hospital last April after she stopped drinking and her parents Terry, 46, and Cheryl, 41, were told she had heart failure.

Police sergeant Terry, from Burnopfield, Co Durham, said: “It was the very worst moment of our lives.

“We cannot thank the team enough for saving our daughter, they have worked tirelessly, and now we feel we have a responsibility to make sure Beatrix really lives her life to the full.”

Medics at the Freeman Hospital, including Consultant Paediatric Transplant surgeon Louise Kenny and Consultant paediatric cardiologist Dr Abbas Khushnood, treated Beatrix who was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy which can cause heart attacks.

Parents Terry and Cheryl have nominated the pair, along with their colleagues for our Best Team award. 

The intensive care team rushed Beatrix from the high dependency unit and operated to put in a Hickman line, which delivered lifesaving medicine directly into Beatrix’s vein.

After the surgery, while waiting to see their baby girl, Terry and Cheryl heard alarms go off as Beatrix’s life started to ebb away.

Terry said: “I’m a police officer, and I know what the panic of an emergency feels like.

“We were clinging to each other utterly terrified.”

Once the team had restarted her heart, Beatrix went back into surgery immediately to connect her to a Berlin heart.

The ventricular assisted device would take the place of Beatrix’s heart, while she waited for a transplant.

But Beatrix suffered multiple potentially deadly blood clots and was saved only thanks to the tireless medics who revived her time and time again.

The Freeman Hospital became like a second home for the family while Terry and Cheryl juggled being there for Beatrix in hospital and caring for her big sister Eliza, 12.

Then, this summer, after a nine hour surgery, Beatrix received her new heart, and was finally discharged just weeks later

Dr Khushnood said:  “Beatrix was a very unwell baby.


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“What happened to her was very rare and while her care was challenging at times, it’s amazing how well she’s recovered. 

“She’s an amazing little girl and it’s an honour to be nominated.”

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