This week we’re recognising Dee Dee Devine, one of our wonderful receptionists, for the compassion and kindness she showed a homeless patient on Vernon ward.

Dee Dee has worked here for twenty years and is also the Unison chair for St George’s. She first met the patient when he was admitted at the start of October with early sepsis, after being bitten on the hand while sleeping rough.

The man underwent a skin graft to save his hand, and after three weeks under the care of staff on Vernon ward and in our plastics team, he was ready to be discharged. But not before Dee Dee made sure he wouldn’t be returning to the streets.

She got in touch with Spires – a charity she already supports and fundraises for – to see if they could help. The organisation provides support to homeless and disadvantaged people across south London. Thanks to their help, the man now has a job and somewhere to live.

Dee Dee didn’t stop there. As well as getting in touch with St George’s Hospital Charity, who donated £30 for the man to buy some new clothes, she also gave £35 of her own money to buy him a warm coat.

The man sent Dee Dee a message saying: “I just wanted to let you know I’m doing well and I’m safe. I have a place and I’m working. Thank you for being so kind to me, I’ll never forget you.”

Dee Dee said: “I’d like to say a huge thank you to the charity for their donation. It may have been small but it meant a lot and the man was so grateful. He’s a true gentleman and was so kind to everyone, including all the staff and patients on Vernon ward.

“The charity Spires offers an incredible lifeline to homeless and vulnerable people in our community, which is why I’ll be supporting them again this Christmas by organising a raffle to help fund dinner for around 300 people at their centre on Christmas day – I’ll also be there to help set up and serve it!”

If you’d like to support Dee Dee and the Spires charity, please visit the reception desk on Vernon ward from Friday 15 November to purchase a £1 raffle ticket for the chance to win a Christmas hamper. Last year, she helped to raise an incredible £888 for the charity.

What an incredible story! A huge well done to Dee Dee and all the staff on Vernon ward!