Mansfield firefighters have sent their best wishes to a colleague who is battling cancer in a very creative way.
Members of Mansfield Fire Station’s White Watch posed with hoses spelling out the words “Get well Lou” in a message to Louise Brownley, Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue risk reduction officer for Ashfield and Mansfield, who was diagnosed with breast cancer last September.
They are just a few of the colleagues across the fire service who have kept Louise’s spirits up by sending gifts, flowers, and messages while she has been off work sick over the past five months.
Louise said she cried when she received the image, on a greetings card. She posted a picture on Twitter, and it has been liked more than 80 times and retweeted 17 times.
The 45-year-old, who is based at Mansfield Fire Station and has been with the service for 11 years, was dealt the devastating blow following a check-up with her GP.
She has been off work, having had an operation to remove a 2cm tumour, as well as emergency surgery for internal bleeding, and a third operation after scans picked up abnormal cells.
The Newark resident, who is married to Steve, 46, who works for Nottinghamshire Police, has just completed six months of chemotherapy and is now about to start radiotherapy.
Louise, who is undergoing her treatment at King’s Mill Hospital and Nottingham’s City Hospital, said: “I don’t think anything prepares you for chemotherapy. “I class myself as a grafter and a tough person, but you can’t comprehend toxic stuff being put into your body - it makes you so ill.
“Chemotherapy hasn’t agreed with me at all - I’m a prisoner in my own home. I don’t have an immune system so I have to be careful where I go.”
Louise, whose father Stephen Robinson, a former paramedic in Arnold, lost a battle with pancreatic cancer two years ago, added: “The first thing I said to my consultant was ‘am I going to die?’ I’m an only child and I thought ‘I can’t put my mother through all this again’.”
But she said she had been given hope by her close-knit team of colleagues.
Louise added: “From the day I was diagnosed, they have supported me. It’s that family support, which has sometimes literally reduced me to tears - you think ‘wow, they’re thinking of me’.
“In a big organisation, especially like mine, you think you’re going to be ‘Louise who?’
“But not a day goes by when somebody from the work hasn’t contacted me to say they miss me.”Louise hopes to return to work by the end of the summer.Daz Warner, watch manager, who set up the picture, described Louise as “tenacious” in her work.
He added: “She’s a fantastic colleague and a fantastic person. It was all about boosting her and letting her know we are still thinking of her. She’s very greatly missed as a colleague and as a friend at the station.”
Matt Reavill, who as a station manager for the service is Louise’s line manager, said: “This is just one of countless tokens of support ranging from flowers, chocolates, hamper bags to messages and texts on an almost day-to-day basis sent to Louise.
“We are thinking of her and that’s really what’s helped keep up her spirits.”