Laura Mattei travelled to London from Italy in 2013 to start a new life with her husband. After an appointment with her GP, she was referred to St George’s Hospital in September 2015 at which point she was diagnosed with the condition Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML).

Laura got in touch with St George’s to share her story and pass on her thanks to staff for the care they provided.

“Since the very first day on Gordon Smith Ward, and during all the following months, I always felt strongly reassured by the high professionalism, human approach and great commitment of all members of the team – doctors, nurses and staff. They couldn’t have been more friendly, kind, and supportive.

“Being told that you have such a terrible disease is devastating and destabilising for everyone. But both my family and I always had great confidence in the team that was looking after me. We knew and believed that with their professional support, our positive attitude and a great team effort we could win this war. And we won it indeed.”

Laura ended up spending four months on the ward before going into remission in March last year.

Before her diagnosis, she worked for an estate agency and had previously worked as a lawyer in Italy, but it was this experience at St George’s, interacting with and being cared for by staff on Gordon Smith Ward, which inspired Laura to pursue a new career.

“My experience with cancer did not only help me understand the invaluable importance of healthcare professionals’ work but also pushed me to reconsider my own priorities, including my professional path. My new aim in life is to do a job that enables me to help others and provide people who suffer the dedicated and caring assistance I received at St George’s.

“I know by personal experience how much compassionate and professional care from a good care assistant can make a difference in people’s life and effectively support the work of nurses and doctors and while in hospital I started thinking that I wanted to provide it to other people in need.”

Laura now works as a Care Assistant at a care home in Wimbledon and “genuinely loves” and is proud of her new role. She still credits the care she received from staff on Gordon Smith as the reason for her recovery and her new path.

“What I have learnt from my experience is that, even in the darkest moments, you must always stay positive, keep on planning your future and think about cancer as a temporary event in your life. I know I have been lucky, not only for the prompt and fantastic support received by doctors and nurses at Gordon Smith Ward, but also because I had a good prognosis and my AML was curable.”

Thank you to staff on Gordon Smith Ward and to all our staff who provide the same excellent care to patients throughout the Trust.