February 11, 2022

Jeanette Eddy is going home

“She was always staying back to help our patients and was forever saying, ‘I’m going home in a minute!'” recalls Danielle Williams, who worked alongside Jeanette Eddy at the Progressive Neurological Diseases (PND) Clinic at Bundoora Centre (previously named Bundoora Extended Care Centre).

After over 50 years of service, Jeanette Eddy is finally going home and her time at Northern Health is remembered with fondness, by all who worked with her.

This includes Professor Len Gray, the first Executive Director of Bundoora Extended Care Centre (BECC), who says, “Jeanette was a great person to work with.”

The clinic they ran is only one of three specialist clinics in Victoria that care for people living with Motor Neurone Disease (MND).

“Jeanette Florence Eddy (Wilkins) always wanted to be a nurse as a child – one would think naturally with the middle name she was given!” says Sue Hull, Associate Director, Community Therapy.

Jeanette’s passion for nursing was recognised early. As a student, she won two nursing scholarships, and was awarded the Medical Staff Association Prize, three years running, as a nurse trainee at PANCH. To top it off, she won the PANCH Gold Medal for Nursing in 1974.

In 1976, she undertook the Victorian Plastic Surgery course and was awarded the Victorian Plastic Surgery Unit (VPSU) Prize.

Jeanette came to BECC in 1986, working on Wards 1 and 2 during the week and PANCH at weekends.

What was meant to be a three week stint in Outpatients at BECC, ended with Jeanette spending 36 years in that role, providing nursing support to a number of clinics, in addition to being responsible for pathology collection for the wards.

It was in 2017 that her role changed significantly, when Northern Health took over the Progressive Neurological Diseases (PND) Clinic.

At that stage, there were 26 patients. The clinic now has 66 patients in its care. The clinic, which has grown significantly in the last four years, now runs twice monthly and is supported by Northern Health neurologists, respiratory physicians, lung function testing and, from next month, a palliative care consultant.

Sue says, “Jeanette has been passionate about her role in this area and has worked incredibly hard to ensure the service not only ran smoothly but provided ‘gold class care’ to the patients attending.”

Johanna Hayes, Divisional Director, Hospital Without Walls, says, “Jeanette has been a key person in community therapy for almost as long as Bundoora Centre/Bundoora Extended Care Centre has been in place.”

“She is well loved and respected by many staff for her knowledge, calmness and most importantly her kindness to patients. She will be missed by us all, but remembered with great fondness.”

Debra Bourne, Acting Chief Operating Officer and Lora Davies, Acting Director of Nursing and Midwifery, in thanking Jeanette for her service said, “We congratulate you for your nursing leadership and thank you for leaving a strong legacy behind through the staff you have mentored and supported. We wish you all the best in your future.”