Businesswoman says life-saving cancer treatment inspired her to retrain as nurse

A high-flying businesswoman said nursing is “the most rewarding career you can do” after her life-saving cancer treatment inspired her to retrain as a nurse.

Eve Howard, 46, was diagnosed with metastatic colorectal cancer more than five years ago and underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy before deciding to switch careers from running her own IT and marketing firm with clients such as Virgin to becoming a nurse.

On International Nurses Day, she said: “I feel a 100% different person to what I was before my cancer – it’s very transformative.

Eve Howard has retrained as a nurse (Eve Howard/PA)

“Honestly, from that moment forward, I couldn’t think of another career that I wanted to do.”

Ms Howard was diagnosed with cancer in October 2018 and an 8cm-long tumour was found in her bowel and two Malteser-sized tumours were discovered in her liver.

Ms Howard, from Penkridge, Staffordshire, underwent surgery at New Cross Hospital in 2019 to remove 20 centimetres of her bowel and then had a stoma fitted, with liver surgery and a stoma bag reversal following after.

She said her consultant, Ian Badger, helped her cope with the diagnosis.

“If it hadn’t have been for the way he delivered the news I don’t think I’d have coped with it,” she said.

Ms Howard applied to train as a nurse five days after receiving the all-clear in January 2021.

She is determined to work at New Cross, where she and her children were born and where she had most of her life-saving treatment.

“My second placement was on Ward A14, where male patients are treated but it’s close to where I was cared for on Ward A12,” Ms Howard said.

“I couldn’t have wished for a better placement because there were cancer patients and people who’d undergone bowel surgery there so I could really relate to what people are going through.

“It’s literally the most rewarding career you can do.”

Ms Howard is two months away from qualifying as a registered nurse and is now applying for permanent roles at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust.

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