Oxford Brookes graduate shortlisted for 2020 Nurse of the Year

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Isobel Corrie

Oxford Brookes University nursing graduate Isobel Corrie has been shortlisted for Nurse of the Year in the Patient’s Choice category of the Royal College of Nursing (RCNI) Awards 2020, having been nominated by the man whose life she saved on board a flight back from Thailand.

In 2019, Isobel was returning home to attend her graduation ceremony at Oxford Brookes after a two-week getaway in Thailand. Sleeping on the plane, she heard a call over the tannoy asking for someone with medical experience.

James Birch, a passenger on the flight with his wife, had gone into cardiac arrest, and despite just qualifying, Isobel leapt into action and managed to pull him back from flatlining using an on board defibrillator and administering CPR. Prior to this, Isobel had not performed CPR on a person outside of her training. In gratitude for Isobel saving his life, James nominated her for the Patient's Choice category.

22-year-old Isobel, who has now been working at Warwick Hospital for the past 10 months, works in the gastrointestinal surgery department and is delighted to have been shortlisted:

“I’m gobsmacked to have been shortlisted and I feel really privileged to be in the same category as five other incredible nurses who have had exceptional careers.

“It is one year to the day that I helped James on the flight back from Thailand, and throughout it all I just really focused on all the training I had been given both on my placements and through what I had received at Oxford Brookes. This was the first time I’d ever performed CPR on a human being and I am grateful for the exceptional quality of the practical sessions I received, especially running through emergency scenarios.

“I’ve been interviewed by the media and even BBC Breakfast, and I find it all surreal. I can’t wait for the awards and to recognise the exceptional achievements of the nursing profession at large, particularly throughout these unprecedented times over the last few months.”

Isobel is one of six nurses who has been shortlisted. You can vote for her, and read the other inspirational stories of those in the final six, here.