In loving memory of our dear friend ‘Jo’

Joanne Therese Burns
5 May 1961- 3 June 2006

Joanne Therese Burns (née Cottrell-Dormer), fondly known as Jo, was a dearly loved nurse who nursed by example and with compassion. It is important that Jo’s career as an enrolled nurse be remembered as it played such a huge part in her life.

Jo began nursing in 1979, undertaking her training at the Parkes District Hospital. In 1980 Jo took up employment at Dubbo Base Hospital where she gave 27 years of dedicated service to the profession.

Jo worked in many wards around the hospital but found that her niche was with mothers and children. Jo worked in the Maternity unit for a number of years.

In this time she met and married her husband of 19 years, Neil Burns. They have two handsome, well-natured boys Adyn, 18 years, and Kane, 15 years.

Jo then worked in the paediatrics ward, where she stayed for 15 years.

She was known for her love of a cup of tea, always being ‘happy go lucky’, her ability to find the positive in others, not one to say a bad thing about anyone, always made her fellow colleagues feel good about themselves and made new staff members feel very welcome. Jo’s personality enabled her to be a fantastic social director; she had the ability to organise every event with style and to make it so much fun.

On 2 March 2006, the staff of the paediatrics ward organised a ‘support party’ as Jo didn’t like the idea of a retirement party. Jo though this was going to be small, involving the paediatics ward staff, but she was blown away when 70 staff from Dubbo Base Hospital attended to give their well wishes and support.

Sadly, it was only three short months after this that Jo passed away due to her 20-month battle with breast cancer. Jo received lots of love and support from her family and friends. Jo’s husband, Neil, their boys and her sister loved and cared for her at home throughout her final days.

‘Dedicated, caring, loving, fun, honest, friendly, devoted, sweet and loyal’ are some of the words used by staff across the hospital to describe Jo. They also said it was an honour, pleasure, and privilege to have known her and to have been her friend. Jo was a very safe, highly-skilled paediatric enrolled nurse.

A frangipani tree will be planted in the paediatrics garden in loving and fond memory of our dear friend and colleague ‘Jo Burns’.

By Deanne Dent, NUM, Dubbo Base Hospital