Alder Hey staff who cared for her daughter inspired Netherton mum to become a nurse
11 months ago
As a young girl growing up in Litherland, Kimberley Maloney dreamt of becoming a nurse but lacked the confidence to pursue her goal.
It was only after watching the caring team at Alder Hey look after her eldest daughter, Felicity, that she was inspired to leave a career in banking to achieve her true ambition.
Now Kimberley is delighted to say some of the nurses who treated Felicity are among her closest colleagues… and she can add with a beaming smile: “Dreams do come true!
“I still pinch myself that I managed to do it, and I feel really lucky that this is how I’m going to spend the rest of my working life.”
The 36-year-old mum-of-two – Felicity is now 11, and Tabitha is eight – says: “When I went for the university interview before I started training, I told them I didn’t want to consider other health roles. There was no plan B now, I just wanted to be a nurse.
“And achieving my dream so many years on means everything to me.”
Kimberley had had the perfect role model for a caring career having seen her mum hold a variety of similar jobs from being a healthcare assistant to a doctor’s secretary to working in nursing homes, before securing a managerial role at Aintree Hospital.
“When I was little, she was always some kind of carer,” explains Kimberley, who’s married to engineer, Andrew. “And I always thought I’d love to be a nurse.”
But less than perfect A level results knocked Kimberley’s belief in herself. While waiting to start a nursing diploma, she took a job in a Nat West bank, and from then it was hard to turn her back on the constant wage that was now coming in.
“It was always a struggle growing up because mum was a single mother looking after me and my brother, so I don’t know whether it was just wanting to have money because we didn’t have any, or self-confidence, but I never left that job, and I stayed there for 12 years.
“I worked as a customer advisor, helping people to arrange mortgages and loans, life insurance and things like that, but sales wasn’t really for me.
“I’d end up spending two hours helping a widow open up her own bank account, and that was the part of the job I loved, helping people, but not really benefiting the bank in a way.
“And yet I thought I had no other option than to make a career out of the bank. They’d since scrapped the nursing diploma I had wanted to start when I was 18, and I thought my A level results weren’t good enough to get into university – even if they were I couldn’t afford to go. I’d had Felicity on my own at 24, and I’d bought a house in Netherton where we still live.
“I wanted to be a nurse but I doubted myself and my decisions.”
But having Felicity reignited Kimberley’s ambition.
Felicity was born at 27 weeks and was in Liverpool Women’s Hospital for 10 weeks. But her prematurity, which meant she was sent home on oxygen, led to further issues.
When she was seven months old Felicity spent a further 10 weeks in Alder Hey where she was treated for bowel abnormalities and global development delay.
And Kimberley says: “Felicity being in hospital really made me wish I’d done it, really made me kick myself that I didn’t pursue my dream.
“I could see how the nurses’ work, the job they did, was for a really good reason. We all have to work to pay our bills, but nursing is one of the most rewarding ways to get your bills paid.
“It was difficult for the nurses, I could see how hard they worked, but I could see why they would look forward to getting up and going to work; the care they gave, and the difference they made, to patients and their parents.
“They were absolutely amazing.”
Supported by husband Andrew who she met when Felicity was one and encouraged by friends who said her ‘12-year-old A level results’ would give her sufficient points to study nursing, Kimberley applied to Edge Hill University to take a nursing degree.
“It made a huge difference having the right support around me and being told by Andrew that I could do this. And to me it was a miracle when I got accepted onto the course.
“I started it in 2017 and did all my training at Alder Hey, and I’ve been working here since 2020.
“To be a nurse is about the practical things: as a surgical nurse it’s giving IV antibiotics or an intravenous feed, it’s checking a wound site or monitoring a patient for infections and making sure they stay well and recover.
“But being a nurse is also about establishing relationships with the children in the hospital and their families; it’s about the emotional side too, showing compassion, and understanding, and empathy.
“I want to make a difference, like the nurses did for me when I was in with Felicity, and to be one of them now is a privilege.”