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Heroes in the NHS: The nurse who helped Grenfell victims

SELFLESS: As the Grenfell Tower fire blazed, Simone Williams Anglin rush towards the block to help those in danger

The NHS is full of unsung heroes whose professional skills, courageous character and selfless sacrifices often go unnoticed. We spoke to a nurse who was one of the first respondents to the Grenfell fire.

Simone Williams Anglin fondly refers to herself as a grandchild of the Windrush, as her grandparents migrated to the UK from Jamaica in search of a better life for their families.

She graduated from London Southbank University, as an Adult Palliative Care Nurse and was one of the first responders on the scene at the Grenfell fire.

On June 14, 2017, the night of the tragic Grenfell Tower disaster, Anglin remembers exactly where she was.

She recalls: “June 14th is a date I will never forget. I had a long day at work and was feeling quite tired. I came home and fell asleep in my clothes downstairs on my sofa.

“I was woken up by the sound of sirens and a helicopter that was hovering just outside. I woke my son and ran outside to see what was going on. The road was empty – it felt strange. Just as I stood on my curb a man ran past me and I asked where he was going, he replied ‘my building is on fire!’ so I
ran behind him.”

Unlike most people, the nurse’s first instinct was to selflessly rush towards the fire to help those in danger.

“I was faced with a burning building. The nurse in me ran to the police line and said ‘I’m a nurse let me help!’ and he did. “I helped by gathering dry clothing and towels from my house, and people on the streets to wrap the victims in as they came out wet, cold and some even half dressed.

“The events that unfolded felt like seconds, but was actually a significant amount of hours.

“My life will never be the same. I owe it to the victims and survivors of the re to live my life like its golden as their lives have been stolen so tragically. My duty as a nurse is to serve and care for people regardless.”

Despite such heroics, Anglin remains humble. She feels she owes it to the legacy of her mother and grandmother before her, to work hard and to always strive towards excellence.

And speaking about the 70th anniversary of the NHS she says: “Happy birthday to the NHS. You are strong and have had to withstand some hard times.

“After all is said and done, you serve with style and grace and you never
close your doors.

“Instead, you are always there with welcoming arms to serve. “So, on your
70th birthday, we salute you and say thanks and may you continue for many more years.”

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