Healthcare writing and journalism, brand and marketing strategy, speaking, training....
It's all about communication.....standing in someone else's shoes...understanding what to say and how to get it across.
I work across multiple sectors, big and small, private, public sector and not for profit.... with a strong interest in health and social care.
Who am I?
I was born in Wales and after gaining an International Baccalaureate at Atlantic College I went on to study Social Anthropology at the University of Kent.
On graduating I moved to London, and have never moved away.
I started off my professional life as a graduate trainee at Cable & Wireless, where I specialised in marketing. I progressed to the Government Sector and was marketing lead for the successful bid to deliver the Police National Network (PNN) which is still used by UK police forces today.
I was headhunted to join the Professional Services Division at Hewlett Packard as marketing lead, progressing to a global role. During this time, I also completed a Master’s Degree in Strategic Marketing.
With the growth of the dot.com boom I joined new media agency MarchFirst (formerly USWeb/CKS) as Account Director for blue chip clients including Shell and Barclaycard.
I met my husband, Andy, when I was at University and by this time we had three small children. I decided to take a job closer to home with less travelling (and less late night work delivering on client briefs!). I was heading up the Marketing and Student Support Function of a large Further Education College when I found I was pregnant with my 4th child.
Life changed overnight on 22nd December 2004 when Daisy arrived very prematurely. She was found to have a rare, life limiting genetic disease called Costello Syndrome and was not expected to live to adulthood.
I gave up my career to care for Daisy as well as my other three children, then 7, 5 and 2 and I started to navigate the steep learning curve of being a parent advocate to a medically complex child.
Daisy bounced in and out of Great Ormond Street hospital and we learned that despite the fact she was not going to be with us for a long time that we could still thrive and not simply survive.
I began to write about my life in a blog in 2008 and it soon became very popular as I shone a light on a world of which I had no prior experience. Through the blog I shared the highs and lows of caring, how we coped as family, the diagnosis of two of my children with high functioning autism and the frustrations of the “system” and what it meant for our family.
The blog won awards and publications began to commission me to write for them.
Late 2014, a week before Daisy’s 10th birthday our family was hit by another huge and unexpected bombshell when my husband Andy was diagnosed with stage 4, incurable bowel cancer. He lived for a year after diagnosis. Andy died at home on 14 December 2015, just before Daisy’s 11th birthday, and I found myself a widowed single parent of 4.
Just 13 months later I was at Daisy’s bedside in the intensive care unit in Great Ormond Street Hospital giving permission for the doctors to end her life support as she was overwhelmed with irreversible sepsis. Within 13 months our family of 6 had become 4 and I had to navigate a new chapter of my life as a widowed parent and bereaved mother.
I still live in London, my three kids still live at home and we are kept entertained by our crazy spaniel.
When not writing, speaking or campaigning I enjoy running along the Thames Towpath, Wimbledon Common and Richmond Park. I love to cycle out to the Surrey hills and in the warmer weather the open water swimming lake in Shepperton is my happy place. I have completed 7 marathons, an ultra marathon and multiple triathlons.
In 2020 I was proud to join the board of trustees of Together for Short Lives, the paediatric palliative care charity.
I’m still thriving, not merely surviving.