ATTENDING a routine breast cancer scan seemed like nothing more than a bit of a chore for Pamela Brown.
The 51-year-old had been contacted to go for screening just after her 50th birthday but there had been no symptoms so she did not feel worried.
But when doctors told her that she had breast cancer last February, Pamela’s world came crashing down.
During her darkest moments, Pamela found medical help and emotional support from Professor Mike Dixon at the Edinburgh Breast Unit at the Western General Hospital.
She has now nominated Prof Dixon to be our Lothian Health Hero for the “fantastic” work he does for breast cancer patients in the Lothians.
Pamela, from Clermiston, said: “He does a fantastic job with what he does and he is so motivated and enthusiastic that he really deserves this award.
“It wasn’t just him, too, but his whole team, who are absolutely fantastic.
“They were so quick – I was in hospital for my operation within two weeks of getting my scan.”
Pamela was unable to continue with her work as an administrator for the Scottish Prisons Service for ten months while she underwent the lengthy process of radiotherapy treatment.
Doctors have since found out that the cancer has spread to her bones but her prognosis is good at the moment.
Pamela said: “Professor Dixon always gives up so much time to make sure you feel OK and that you understand your illness properly.
“You can ask him anything you want and not feel stupid.
“I know I have to live with my cancer but it makes me feel better knowing I have that support.
“People sometimes knock the NHS but my treatment has been absolutely fantastic.”
The Health Hero award aims to recognise the unsung heroes of the health service, whether it is a brilliant consultant, a nurse who always made you smile or a care assistant who went beyond the call of duty.
Prof Dixon, who started his career as a hospital porter at 16, said: “It is always such a wonderful surprise to be nominated by one of the lovely ladies I look after, such as Pamela.
“I see so many amazing women and it is a privilege to do my best for them.
“My nomination is for my team, rather than just me, as I wouldn’t be able to do any of it without my colleagues.”
He urged patients to nominate their health heroes, which could make a real difference to staff.
Prof Dixon added: “Staff are coming in every day and giving their all to make sure patients get the best care they can.
“They don’t want anything for it but getting a thanks or recognition like this will make their day.”
The shortlist will be unveiled in May, with winners revealed at the NHS Lothian Celebrating Success Awards at the Corn Exchange on June 17.