A junior doctor for the East Lancashire Hospital Trust has been recognised for her hard work in the pandemic by appearing in a children's book.

Chanelle Smith, who is currently based in the ophthalmology department at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (ELHT), featured in ‘One Hundred Reasons to Hope’ which was released last month.

Lancashire Telegraph: Chanelle Smith (Photo: East Lancashire Hospital Trust)Chanelle Smith (Photo: East Lancashire Hospital Trust)

The book was launched by The Captain Tom Foundation and curated by double Paralympic gold medallist, Danielle Brown MBE.

It also begins with a foreword from Captain Sir Tom Moore’s daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore and was written to celebrate the contribution of ‘Covid heroes’ during the pandemic.

Chanelle was approached by Hannah, who informed her that she wanted to include her story in a children’s book, telling 100 hopeful stories from the pandemic.

Given the difficulties of the past year, Hannah wanted to celebrate the remarkable things that people were doing in the hope to inspire others in the same way her father did.

Chanelle said: “She found me online and selected me to be included to represent medical students volunteering in hospitals.

“I’m not sure why she selected me out of the thousands of medical students working across the country but I feel so overwhelmed to be included alongside such courageous and inspirational stories.

“I feel so grateful to be able to represent all the medical students that stepped up during such an uncertain time. As a medical student, I felt that discharge letters, taking bloods, all small but essential jobs were not worthy of commendation but just as Tom Moore has shown us no action is too small to make a difference.

“It is truly a privilege to stand alongside such esteemed and courageous individuals. This book encapsulates everything that Tom Moore stands for and I am sure that it will truly inspire hope.”

Chanelle, who is currently based at Burnley General Teaching Hospital, added that working in a hospital throughout the pandemic was “humbling”.

Lancashire Telegraph: Chanelle Smith is a junior doctor currently based at Burnley hospital (Photo: East Lancashire Hospital Trust)Chanelle Smith is a junior doctor currently based at Burnley hospital (Photo: East Lancashire Hospital Trust)

She explained: “I was working in Gloucestershire Royal Hospital on the Critical Care wards including the Acute Medical Unit and the A& E department.

“My role as a medical student was to support the frontline staff in whatever way I could, which included taking bloods, writing discharge summaries, making phone calls, requesting scans.

“I could see that the hospitals were definitely under a lot of pressure, with staff having to self-isolate, the dwindling PPE resources and the anxiety regarding exposing yourself and your loved ones to Covid. It was such a stressful and uncertain time for everyone.

“It has reminded me how lucky we are to have this NHS system. I’m so proud of the NHS and everyone who works there and even in the midst of a pandemic, I was still feeling inspired and excited to join the workforce.”

She added that one of the main things she noticed in hospitals during the pandemic was the lack of visitors.

She said: “I remember an old lady telling me how isolated she felt given visiting hours were very limited. 

“Being in such a sick and vulnerable state in a time when you need your loved ones there the most and I could not imagine how hard it must have been for patients and their relatives facing those kind of restrictions.

“My role as a medical student became so much more crucial during that time. Unlike the busier more senior colleagues, I was able to take the time to listen, empathise with them and realised that this can be therapeutic in its own right.”

Chanelle added that the pandemic has taught her the importance of resilience and patience

She explained: “During my career, I will continue to experience times of adversity, stress and uncertainty but I believe now I have equipped myself with the tools to deal with them.

“We have all overcome so much adversity and shown how capable we are and need to be so proud of everything we have achieved. We must continue to unite and stand strong together in the hope that tomorrow will be a good day.”

One Hundred Reasons to Hope was published on 16 September 2021, with £1 from each hardback sale in the UK and Ireland being donated to The Captain Tom Foundation.