In Memory

Julia Clare Cranvey-Haywood

26 Jun 1957 - 06 Jan 2018

Julia was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia after a routine blood test. She was feeling run down and was bruising easily. She put this down to work and everything else that makes up the busy days working in the community. The day she was initially diagnosed, she was weighing babies and supporting new mums at the surgery and could not understand the fuss her doctor was making trying to contact her, he was after all only two doors away. We still marvel that despite almost zero platelet and zero haemoglobin counts she was still hard at work doing something she had always loved.

Julia, daughter of an army family, qualified as a Norland Nanny working initially for some of the rich and famous whilst travelling the world. Later she worked in the community supporting young and vulnerable families including new mums, single dads, women in refuges, early life bereavement and parents with special needs. She worked for several Hampshire nurseries and the Chamberlain Road Children’s Centre. She was also a Homestart volunteer. Despite her diagnosis, and when in remission, she continued her work as a Health Visitor Support Worker for Chandlers Ford surgeries.

Despite complications in her early chemotherapy, including encephalitis, she achieved remission after a Stem Cell Transplant and quickly returned to work. Having benefitted from the support of Wessex Cancer Trust she became a befriender and unofficial fundraiser, emptying wardrobes and even whole houses into the WCT Shop.

Julia’s AML proved very aggressive and after 18 months she was back on chemotherapy. Even then she supported new mums locally and kept up to date with her ‘nursery nurse’ colleagues. In May 2017 she was given the worst news and advised her expectancy was only a few months. Supported by the amazing staff at Southampton General Hospital she refused to give in, planned, battled and beat cancer down for many more months until she had no more to give.  

Always a happy face on C6 and C7 wards, always up for a chat with other patients and their families, always taking an interest in the nurses’ wellbeing and even assisting in wedding planning and breast feeding advice whilst taking chemo and blood transfusions.

Julia never complained (except about the hospital food and parking) and had a smile to share on even the worst days. She died with her family on 6 January 2018, over 5 years from diagnosis.

Her family plan to set up a tribute to inspirational people who have or support the battle against cancer. They also hope to recognise the needs of nurses, especially those who come from overseas to support our NHS cancer care.

All donations will go to support the work of Chandlers Ford Cancer Support Centre which Julia regularly visited.