Tributes paid to treasured colleague

Lesley Atkinson sadly lost her battle with cancer earlier this month

North East Ambulance Service is today paying tribute to a treasured colleague, who has sadly lost her battle with cancer.

Lesley Atkinson, from Penshaw, worked as a clinical care assistant based at Washington ambulance station and had worked for NEAS for over 12 years, having served in the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) with the Fusiliers as a reserve for 23 years. Lesley served in Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq and as a veteran she was passionate about supporting other veterans.

Lesley was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, and despite being treated for the illness three times, later found the cancer had spread and was incurable.

She sadly lost her fight earlier this month, leaving her partner Craig and stepson Marcus.

Despite her illness, Lesley put huge efforts into fundraising for the installation of defibrillators around Wearside at Penshaw Pharmacy, Grange Wood Care Home and The Cherry Tree, in Ayton Village, because she knew what a difference community defibrillators could make in her community.  She said at the time that focusing on something other than cancer had helped her mental health – she loved to teach CPR and see people make a full recovery and was spurred on by the fundraising.  She wanted to fight to stay around for as long as possible for her wonderful family and friends.

On behalf of everyone here at NEAS, including our patients and the communities we serve, we would like to offer our sincere condolences to the family.

We would also like to thank our NHS colleagues for their professionalism and the compassionate care they have shown for our friend.

This will deeply affect many people within the trust and we are supporting our staff during this very sad time.

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