Harefield Hospital ward clerk Julie Donovan, of Springwell Lane, Harefield, has done her patients' laundry, cooked them Sunday roasts at her home, and is always on hand to cheer spirits with her warm wit.

Now, her dedication to her job as co-ordinator of the echocardiogram unit at the hospital in Hill End Road, and her compassion for her patients has been recognised with a nomination in the Daily Mail's 2014 Health Hero Awards in conjunction with Boots and ITV's This Morning.

"I'm overwhelmed about the nomination," said Julie, 52. "I feel blessed to have received it."

Patient Graham Jordan and his wife Yvonne, who live in Northwood Road, Harefield, nominated Julie for always going the extra mile.

They have known Julie since Graham underwent a heart transplant 19 years ago. They come back to the hospital regularly for blood tests.

"When Graham had his operation Julie was working on reception. We knew her cos she'd always say hello," said Yvonne.

Graham developed pneumonia 18 months after the surgery. Upon arriving back at his hospital with a concerned Yvonne by his side, Julie welcomed him with open arms.

"She said 'Come on Graham, there's a room for you here with a sea view'," said Yvonne.

Graham said Julie's warm humour made him smile for the first time in weeks. He says she made him go from feeling like he was on the scrapheap to feeling like a celebrity.

"She's fantastic," said Yvonne.

"She gives her life up to help other people. It's not just a job to her.

"It makes it an awful lot better than someone being a robot. She makes it human. You're not just another patient in there, you're you. Whatever you need, she will sort it out for you.

"And it's not just us she helps. She's like it with every single person on that ward. I've sat and watched her over the years and she's marvellous with everybody.

"It's such a lovely hospital. When you go to other hospitals you do compare, and nothing touches it.

"Everyone there, they couldn't do any more for you."

On one of Julie's first shifts she saw a toddler being raced in for a transplant with his mother, a single parent, by his side. She went straight home after her shift, collected up some of her own children's toys, and brought them in the next day.

Nineteen years on Julie still sees the mother and son as he comes in for check ups. and the now 21-year-old still has the teddy bear Julie gave him on his first visit to Harefield.

On a number of occasions she has arranged cabs and hotels for relatives of patients who have to stay in over night. Once she even booked a venue for a patient who didn't want his wife to miss out on having a 40th birthday party while he was in hospital.

Julie says she enjoys her job and praised her colleagues for their support and hard work.

"I love my job. I work with such fantastic people. We are a real good team," she said.

"I just hope I can carry on with the work I'm doing. It's rewarding.

"We support each other. Harefield is a fantastic hospital and a brilliant place to work. It's friendly and warm."

She says she loves working with people and meeting all the different characters who come through the hospital.

"I can't see myself ever working anywhere else. Why would I?"

David Cameron opened the nomination process in April .

"These people are our superstars in scrubs, our angels in aprons, and the Health Hero Awards give us a fantastic opportunity to thank them for everything they do," he said.

"It allows us to show those individuals who go far beyond the call of duty that we are grateful to them."
 

The winners will be announced at a ceremony at the end of June.