Gladioli honour for caring Rotherham nurse Tracey

A husband and wife duo have decided to honour their community nurse by naming a newly-created flower after her.

TB Specialist Nurse, Tracey Turton, has been looking after Marlene Willoughby since she developed TB in September 2019. Tracey would regularly make visits to Marlene’s home and soon became a welcome support for Marlene and her husband, David.

And when David was diagnosed with bladder cancer six months later, Tracey was there for them both and went over and above in her care for them.

The couple wanted a special way to thank Tracey, and David contacted a friend, Karen McDougal, in Canada who specialises in developing new species of flowers, in particular gladioli.

David and Marlene present Tracey with a photo of the flower named in her honour

Karen had the perfect flower to reflect Tracey’s caring and positive nature, a gladioli described as a “stunning lavender rose with a light cerise brushed line in the throat”.

David was thrilled with the flower and they eventually settled on the name ‘Tracey T’. He said: “We can’t praise Tracey highly enough. She has gone out of her way for us, even phoning us from home in the evening to make sure we’re ok and popping in to see Marlene during her dinner break. She’s always gone above and beyond, but that’s just Tracey.”

Tracey T is now available to buy and David is looking forward to April when he will receive his corms, from which the gladioli will grow in their Rotherham garden. The couple’s friends have also put in orders.

Tracey, who has recently been accepted into the renowned Queen’s Nursing Institute, is the only currently working nurse in the world to have a flower named after her.

The Tracey T gladioli in full bloom

She said: “I was completely blown away by David and Marlene’s gesture. It’s really humbling to know that my care made a difference to them. Building positive relationships is such an important part of my job and, as a nurse, I try my best every day for each of my patients. A lot of Marlene’s care took place throughout the pandemic, so it was a big adjustment for us all.

“I don’t usually like the limelight, but the Tracey T flower is so special to me and something I’m proud to show my family, friends and colleagues. I can’t wait to see it blooming in my garden!”