Published: 17 August 2020

Celebrating our nurses and midwives: Louis' story

Louis Nyuyse became an adult nurse after a near-death experience inspired him to work in emergency care, looking after vulnerable people when they need help the most. This is his story.

Louis Nyuyse
Louis Nyuyse

"As a young boy, I grew up in Kumbo Town in north-west Cameroon, Central Africa. Community was incredibly important. I remember visits from our priest, who gave us spiritual guidance, and a doctor, who administered vaccinations. Seeing the impact these community figures made, I knew I wanted to work in a profession that would allow me to give back to society.

"For the first 18 years of my career, I worked as a secondary school teacher, sharing my thoughts on philosophy, ethics and religious studies. But on 25 August 2010, my life changed for ever. I was out swimming, something I’d done a hundred times before, but I got into complications. Before I knew it, I was unconscious, and I’d stopped breathing. The incredible actions of the emergency services brought me back to life. A few years later, my oldest daughter swallowed a 20p piece and nearly choked. After these experiences, I felt compelled to learn how to care for others and deal with life-and-death situations, so I went back to university and completed a three-year nursing course.

"After qualifying in 2017, I worked in an emergency department, which was a dream come true. One of the most fulfilling things as a nurse is seeing patients who were in a critical condition being transferred onto a ward for recovery. Understandably, one of the difficult parts of the role is dealing with death and I remember losing a four-year old boy – I wept that day and struggled to accept he was gone. Since then, when I do lose a patient, I take a minute’s silence in honour of their memory.

"Before I knew it, I was unconscious, and I’d stopped breathing. The incredible actions of the emergency services brought me back to life."

"During my training, I was inspired by the healthcare professionals I worked with, who took their time to share their experiences with me. I felt it was my responsibility to do the same and I decided to go into education, to train the next generation of nurses. Since working at Surrey as an Adult Nursing Teaching Fellow, I’ve loved helping students fill the gaps in their knowledge, sharing my insights and reflections with them.

"Two of the areas I’m most passionate about are ethics and emergency care. It takes great courage to speak up and do the right thing, and I inspire my students to be advocates for their patients and stand by their beliefs and training. As for emergency care, this can be the difference between saying 'Goodbye' to a loved one or saying 'Hello'. From my first-hand experiences, it can only benefit the NHS and society by having people get into this specialism.

"Outside of nursing, I’ve helped set up a UK-based charity, raising funds for primary schools and hospitals in Cameroon, helping pay for building materials, education and medical equipment, clean water supplies and electricity.

"I’m thankful for all the opportunities I’ve been given and for supporting vulnerable people when they need help the most."


Read more of our nurses' and midwives' stories and share your own on Twitter using #YearoftheNurseandMidwife, tagging @UniOfSurrey.

Share what you've read?