Yvonne Newbold, patient

Yvonne Newbold@NHS  from 06/02/17 to 10/02/17

Twitter: @YvonneNewbold
Role: Author, public speaker, trainer
Location: Royal Marsden (and many others)

So how does an ordinary mum like me become a best-selling author, a Conference Keynote-Speaker, with a portfolio of training courses for Healthcare Professionals and parent groups, with lots of other things going on too? It’s a long story.

My three young-adult children have about 25 diagnosed disabilities between them. Toby, my middle child, was born so medically fragile that we spent most of his first six years together in hospital, with him taking us to the very edge of his survival more times than I can remember. Accidentally, I became an experienced NHS “Secret Shopper”, immersed in the absolute best of our NHS, as well as feeling the fear of when things go wrong.  Without the NHS neither I nor my children would be alive today. So I am eternally grateful, but I have also been in the privileged position to see how much better things could be with some very simple “no-cost” shifts in culture and approach.

Just as Toby reached adulthood, I was diagnosed with bi-lateral breast cancer. A year later, they found it had spread to my spine. Stage 4, incurable, and my life expectancy was about 2 years. That was four years ago. Ongoing treatment is prolonging my life very successfully for the time-being.

I knew immediately what my bucket list was all about.  I wanted to do whatever I could to improve the lives of the next generation of families like mine, as well as sharing all my front-seat spectator NHS- knowledge to help make the NHS the best it could be.

That’s what I’ve been doing ever since.  Life is good, I’ve never been more passionate and driven about anything, because when you’re loving living on borrowed time there’s an urgency and a vision to get things done before it’s too late.