Cole, 5, thanks nurses at Edinburgh ‘pay cap’ protest

Cole Quarrell (right) now aged five is leading the UNISON Scrap the Cap march in Edinburgh on Saturday
Cole Quarrell (right) now aged five is leading the UNISON Scrap the Cap march in Edinburgh on Saturday
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A BRAVE youngster who received brain surgery at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children will personally thank over 1,000 nurses before they march to parliament in protest today.

Cole Quarrell will address the NHS staff, who will gather in Johnston Terrace at 11.45am before a Scrap the Cap event that will see thousands parade down the Royal Mile before gathering at Holyrood.

Proud mum Lisa, said she was keen for him to thank the nurses at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children where he was treated for focal cortical dysplasia a cause of intractable epilepsy.

The five-year-old underwent a lesionectomy in 2014 aged just two, after suffering seizures since the age of three months. Lisa, 36, an events manager for a children’s charity, paid tribute to the nurses who went out of their way to help her five-year-old son.

She said: “Cole will be at the front to open the march by saying thank you to all the nurses who helped him.

“All I want him to do is say thank you - he’s only five and he’s got a development delay of a year.

“The reason I wanted to go to the march was apart from the incredible service we had in the hospital the nurses went over and above everything they had to do.

“Things like putting us up in a room at the top of the hospital they took my mobile number and if Cole was sleeping they’d allow me to go for a rest, they read him a bedtime story while I was sleeping and they allowed me to go outside the hospital for food while they had a play therapist sit with my son.

“Even during Cole’s surgery I had someone texting me half hour to let me know how the surgery was going.

Lisa said Cole’s surgery nurse Janice Fyall came out to his nursery a year after he had his surgery to explain to the staff about his illness.

She added: “The nurse helped my wee boy get the support he needed at nursery.

“He’s had seizures since he was three months old - he convulses, his eyes roll and his mouth ticks and he also has a second type of seizure called an ‘absence seizure’ where he looks like he’s in a trance but it can be for seconds and when he comes out of it he can’t remember things.

“So for nursery and school it looked like he was being bad and not listening or not focused but it was basically out of his control.

Labour MSP Neil Finalday said: “It is very humbling to hear a young boy like Cole thanking the people who have treated and cared for him over the years. He has first-hand experience of the commitment and skill of nurses, doctors and the support staff who work alongside them. I hear politicians praising these workers on a weekly basis but what they want more than warm words from the Scottish Government and Health Boards is to be rewarded for the work they do with fair pay, respect for their role and to have the help and support of the right number of colleagues staffing their wards.”