Maureen Lahiff obituary

My pal Maureen Lahiff, who has passedaway aged 90 of pancreatic cancer, was a pioneering nurse leader and innovator in nurse education. Her strong Christian faith madeitpossiblefor her to come to terms with the death of both her boys.

Maureen was born in Richmond, Surrey, moreyouthful sibling of Margaret, and child of momsanddads Catherine (nee Wale) and Edward Coleman. At the start of the 2nd world war, Catherine took her children to live with her momsanddads in Coventry upuntil. After it was bombed in the blitzed, they moved to Lincolnshire. When they returned to Richmond Maureen’s school hadactually been bombed, and she participatedin 4 various schools in a year.

In her teenagers, Maureen felt a call to the occupation of nursing, however mass X-ray screening detected her with tuberculosis – and so she started 3 years of treatment, rest and knowing about nursing from a client pointofview and nursing journals. Then, after basic training at Addenbrooke’s medicalfacility in Cambridge, Maureen worked primarily in the south of England, though with 2 years from 1962 in Australia and New Zealand, and finished thoracic, midwifery, health visitor and tutor training.

In 1968 she married Kerry Lahiff. Their boy, Michael, born a year lateron, had Down’s syndrome. His sibling, David, was born in 1972.

Maureen led the veryfirst part-time health visitor course in the UK, at South Bank Polytechnic in London. In 1976 she went to North East Surrey College of Technology, in Epsom, where her concept about establishing nurses for innovative medical practice resulted in the veryfirst degree course for certified nurses in the UK, conditioning the lotsof medical nurse expert posts being produced at the time.

Her profession grew. She carriedout a master’s degree at the University of Surrey, and in 1990 was designated teacher of nursing at Hatfield Polytechnic (now Hertford University), nurse leader in Bloomsbury, main London, and nurse consultant at the Royal College of Nursing.

When she was chief nurse for Bloomsbury Health Authority, and on a researchstudy trip to America in 1986 she saw how executive nurses had genuine power, status and authority. On her return, she and her associate Sheila Roy, then chief nurse for North West London Health Authority, in 1988 set up the UK Executive Nurse Network, which continues to be a powerhouse for those in top nursing posts.

David’s death at 20 from an epileptic seizure ravaged Maureen and Kerry, triggering the advancement of researchstudy into Sudden Unexplained Death from Epilepsy (SUDEP) and the facility of SUDEP Action, an education and assistance organisation, of which Maureen was a trustee for lotsof years.

Michael’s abrupt death at 39 was another affecting blow. Maureen composed Michael: A Transforming Presence, in which she explained her battle in accepting Michael’s condition, ethical problems included in antenatal medicaldiagnosis of chromosomal abnormalities and Michael’s remarkable result on those around him. The action to the book, released last year, was a terrific source of affirmation to her.

Maureen coped with Kerry’s dementia and death in 2018 and her last healthproblem with self-respect and approval. She discovered lotsof positives, consistingof the modification from a “healthy” dietplan to a low-fibre one, with lashings of cream with whatever and plenty of chocolate – particularly mint flavour.

She is endured by a niece, Debbie, and nephew, Ian.

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