Jess Anderson, a nurse at The Royal London Hospital, has received an award and a Guinness World Records title for running the London Marathon in the world’s fastest time in a nurse's outfit.
Last night (12 February), Barts Health NHS Trust celebrated the achievements of staff hailed as heroes by patients, families and colleagues, at a special awards evening, supported by Barts Charity, recognising those who have gone above and beyond to provide the best possible care.
At the ceremony, Jess received the Barts Charity Individual Fundraiser award for running the 2019 London Marathon in an exceptional time of 3:08:22 and was also recognised for her challenge to have the Guinness World Records overturn their decision that scrubs didn’t meet the London Marathon criteria as a nurse’s uniform.
The hashtag #WhatNursesWear was trending last year in England, as people took to social media in support of Jess. One such supporter was radio presenter, Simon Mayo, who attended the event to present Jess with her award. Craig Glenday, Editor-in-Chief at Guinness World Records, also came along to surprise Jess with her record from the London Marathon.
Jess Anderson said: “It was such a lovely surprise, firstly to win the award, and then for Simon to be present with my Guinness World Records certificate. Big congratulations to all the other Heroes from the evening too!
“I was overwhelmed by the amount of support I got at the time which led to the reversal of the original Guinness World Records decision. It was great that the story also shone some light on the nursing profession as a whole and may have helped to change some of the stereotypical images that are out there.”
Craig Glenday, Editor-in-Chief at Guinness World Records, said: “I’m delighted to have been given the opportunity to present Jessica with her record certificate today. By doing so we not only celebrate her fantastic achievement last year but we can also thank her for the subsequent positive changes made to GWR policies which Jessica and the #WhatNursesWear campaign made us realise were long overdue.”
Clare Chater, Director of Engagement & Fundraising at Barts Charity said: “Not only did Jess run 26.2 miles in record-breaking time, she raised over £5,800 for her hospital charity at the same time. It was wonderful to see her fundraising total keep on going up, with donations coming from as far away as Australia and the USA. We’re delighted she got the recognition she deserved. Jess is proof that not all heroes wear capes – some of them wear scrubs!”
‘How do you thank someone who has saved your life? It’s impossible really’
Another amazing Barts Health runner recognised at the event was Suksung Lee, a staff nurse at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, who was presented with a Barts Health Heroes award for his quick thinking during the London Pride Run 10k which meant he saved a fellow runner’s life by performing CPR.
After completing the London Pride Run 10k in August 2019, Suksung noticed that a fellow runner, Richard Simmons, had collapsed at the finish line and immediately started CPR.
Suksung took the time to visit Richard in hospital while he was recovering, and has been awarded not only for his exceptionally quick response and saving someone’s life but also for his kindness.
As Suksung was away for the awards ceremony, a reunion was arranged so Richard could surprise Suksung with his award, which was filmed and played to guests at the ceremony.
Richard said: “How do you thank someone who saved your life? It’s impossible really. Suksung, I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart, and from all my friends and family who are so appreciative of what you did that afternoon.”
On receiving the award, Suksung said: “At first, I thought he was just having a rest because some runners lie down like that after a run, but I soon realised something was wrong and I started CPR. Fellow runners, including an anaesthetist, joined in and helped – it wasn’t just me!
“This was my first time ever giving CPR, and it seems it wasn’t that bad!”
Barts Health Heroes nominations are open throughout the year, and this year a record 1,428 were received. The winning teams and individuals were chosen by a select panel of staff, patients and partners. Those awarded represent the very best of the trust and embody the trust’s core values. The awards celebrate all that is great about Barts Health and its extraordinary people.
The entire programme is generously supported by Barts Charity, who also awarded four special fundraiser and ambassador awards to staff who have gone the extra mile.
Alwen Williams, Group Chief Executive Officer at Barts Health NHS Trust, said: “I want to say a massive congratulations to everyone who’s been nominated in this year’s awards. Thank you for all your hard work, you go over and above in providing excellent care to our patients. I’d also like to pass my thanks onto colleagues and partners, including Barts Charity, for your generous support.”
Ian Peters, Chairman at Barts Health NHS Trust, said: “These awards celebrate all that is great about Barts and recognise individuals, teams and our partners who provide outstanding care for our diverse communities in East London and beyond. They are representative of the 24,000 colleagues across ‘team Barts’ who live our values every day.”
The winners and highly commended teams and individuals can be viewed on the #BHHeroes2020 page. You can also nominate your hero for 2021 via the online form, nominations for next year close on 30 September.