A vet nurse who’s devoted her career to caring for animals has raised more than £2,000 for the doctors and nurses who looked after her during cancer treatment.

Amy Gardiner, a senior medicine nurse at Cave Veterinary Specialists in West Buckland, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in 2019 and treated at the Bristol Royal Infirmary, Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre and Southmead Hospital.

She underwent cancer surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and afterwards wanted to show her appreciation for the expert care she’d received by supporting the charity Above and Beyond, which raises money for Bristol City Centre Hospitals.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, plans for a major fundraising event were put on hold – so instead, Amy sold real Christmas trees from home and donated a percentage of the profits to Above and Beyond.

Amy said: “I wanted to give something back in return for the wonderful care the hospitals provided me with.

“The people who work in this field truly are angels and made a terrifying road ahead much easier to get through. I really do not know how some of them do the jobs that they do.

“The charity Above and Beyond raises money for Bristol City Centre Hospitals, including the children’s hospital, so I decided to pick them so that all the hospitals that had been involved in my care would benefit.”

For Amy, the tricky bit was coming up with a fund-raising event that would work in the midst of the current COVID-19 crisis.

She added: “Initially I was hoping to hold a big fundraising event involving alcohol, music and lots of dancing – but unfortunately COVID-19 put a stop to that!

“So, I opted for selling Christmas trees from home and donating a percentage to Above and Beyond.

“It was a terrific success. By the end, we had sold a total of 102 trees, ranging from 4ft to 8ft. This far surpassed what we had aimed to sell as we only ordered in 70 to begin with.

“I am extremely thankful to everyone who chose to support me and the charity. We had raised more than £2,000 by the end of January, which is fantastic.

“I hope everyone enjoyed their beautiful real trees and I look forward to seeing them all again next year!”

Cave’s clinical director Nele Van den Steen said: “This was a wonderful effort by Amy and typical of her caring and considerate nature.

“Amy first started caring for animals as a 16-year-old Saturday girl at a local vets and has since built a very successful nursing career.

“She’s used to being the person doing the caring but suddenly found herself needing to be cared for herself and this was her way of saying a huge thank-you to the hospitals who looked after her.”

You can donate to Amy’s fundraising page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Amy-Gardiner9.

For more information on Cave Veterinary Specialists, visit http://cave-vet-specialists.co.uk or search for Cave Veterinary Specialists on social media.

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