Senior Mansfield nurse pays tribute to 'shining light' as 'face' of hospital loses cancer battle aged 35
A senior nurse from Mansfield has paid tribute to a popular colleague who she has described as a ‘shining light’ after losing her battle with cancer.
Rebecca Clarke 35, died from cervical cancer last week after a long and brave battle with the disease
Her devastated colleagues at Barlborough NHS Treatment Centre – where she worked as a GP liaison officer – have described her as the ‘face’ of their surgery, which is attended by many patients from the Mansfield and Ashfield area.
Head of nursing Elaine Bodle, from Mansfield, said: “Rebecca was a shining light and very talented too. She progressed in her career and she was known to all our patients, taking a genuine interest in them and their treatment.
"She was also the driving force behind a lot of the hospital’s fundraising and promotional events at local shows and shopping centres.
“She was known and respected by the local GPs, as she would visit them to talk about the service and how we could support their patients.
"Most recently she had become an excellent photographer, taking wonderful photos of our patients as, post-surgery, they got back to the lives and hobbies they loved. A number appeared in the Mansfield Chad. She is and will always be deeply missed by us all.”
Her father Phil Clarke said cervical cancer was ‘highly preventable’ and urged women to attend their smear tests.
"I don’t want any father to be in the position my family is now, grieving for our beautiful and kind daughter and trying to comfort her little daughter, our granddaughter,” Phil said.“I would urge all fathers and husbands to play a part in encouraging the women in their lives to make their own health a priority.”
The appeal was backed by her grieving mum, Julie.
“I know smear tests are unpleasant and no-one looks forward to them, but I would ask any woman who receives a smear test appointment to attend. And if you don’t receive an appointment, chase it up. Don’t end up like our darling daughter,” she said.
Rebecca had worked at Barlborough Hospital since it first opened its doors in 2005, as Barlborough NHS Treatment Centre.
She started as an assistant occupational therapist, helping ensure patients’ homes were safe and properly equipped for when they returned home after surgery.
In 2016, Rebecca was promoted to the position of GP liaison and marketing co-ordinator – a position in which colleagues say ‘she really thrived’.
To donate in Rebecca’s memory, visit www.jostrust.org.uk