Rose Amankwaah added another gong to her medal haul when she was presented with the Silver Medal Award by England’s top-ranking nurse.
The former international sprinter, who newspapers once described as ‘the fastest woman in Africa,’ was presented with the award by Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England.
“I just don’t know where the time has gone,” laughed the theatres matron from Central Middlesex Hospital who received the medal in recognition of a nursing career that has spanned four decades.
Rose was kept in the dark about the presentation until the last minute when colleagues asked if she could attend a quick meeting.
It was a complete surprise and I was left a bit speechless. You never think about these things are going to happen but it was a lovely gesture.”
Rose began working at Central Middlesex Hospital in 1975 and was exempt from weekend shifts so she could continue to compete domestically in athletic meetings.
A fellow sprinter she used to train with back in the day was a young Linford Christie who went on to become an Olympic gold medallist.
Rose, who says she has worked so long at the hospital that she ‘feels like part of the furniture,’ has assisted in thousands of surgical procedures including a dramatic intervention when a stab victim was treated in the car park.
She met both Prince Charles and Tony Blair during their visits to Central Middlesex hospital and worked alongside a young surgeon called Ara Darzi who went onto become a junior health minister.
“I’ve had a wonderful career and so can anyone else. I always tell younger nurses to be focused, enthusiastic and push yourself to be the best you can be.
So, what next for the Kenton resident?
“I have plenty of grandchildren to catch up with and I am big sports fan so it will be nice to go to a few more events.