(February 7th 1974 – May 5th 2019)
It is hard to believe that it is a year since Lou left us, and I have thought of her so many times over the past 12 months. She had such an enormous impact on our profession, and the profession will always miss her contribution and everything she did. I know that so many other people – both in the profession and personally, will miss Lou too.
Whenever I see a conference speaker list, a talk on infection control, anaesthesia of brachycephalics, the input that nurses have to emergency and critical care; I think ‘Lou should be there doing that.’ Lou and I set up our infection control course several years ago now. She was an inspiration to the nurses on the course, and her knowledge was quite simply amazing. She was lovely to work with.
I don’t remember computing that we lost her during Veterinary Nurse Awareness month. I think it was such a shock that everything was a little fuzzy. But it’s so poignant that during a month-long celebration of the contribution of veterinary nurses, we lost a member of our profession who did so much for veterinary nurses; in highlighting our capabilities, demonstrating the levels we could reach, and in driving forward and inspiring so many other veterinary nurses.
Thank you, Lou, for everything you did. I will always think of you, but today it seemed important to just say a few words.
“Nursing is about making your mark, about being there for your patients, and for me that’s what my career has been about. It’s a bit of a cliché, but we really are the voice of our patients, and so when people ask me ‘why do you spend so much time with getting extra qualifications?’, it’s really about making sure I’m better able to help my patients. And as I get older it’s also about educating the next generation of veterinary nurses, helping to train them to do the same and to spread our knowledge and training.”
Louise O’Dwyer, 2016, on receiving her RCVS Golden Jubilee Award
RCVS News, June 2016 “ Golden moment for Wigan-based VN”
Image by Maurice van Bruggen – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0
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Written by Jill Macdonald