Galway nurse who worked in Iraqi prisons awarded Florence Nightingale medal
An Irish nurse has been awarded the prestigious Florence Nightingale medal for her work in Iraqi prisons.
Since 1992, Vivien Lusted from Galway has worked as a nurse at crisis situations in Israel, Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Myanmar — in addition to her 18-month stint as a detention nurse in war-torn Iraq.
The Florence Nightingale medal is the highest honour that a Red Cross Red Cresent nurse can receive.
Lusted was presented with the medal by President Michael D. Higgins, having been selected for the honour by a commission comprised of representatives from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) and the International Council of Nurses.
Her colleagues in Iraq offered the following testimony: "her voice became the voice of the detained who often cannot speak for themselves. The needs were huge, and at times overwhelming.
"Vivien however remained resolutely positive, bringing her personal cheer to detainees and ICRC teams alike."
Irish Red Cross Chairman Pat Carey said "Her skills, selflessness, willingness to help others in the face of danger, and dedication to the Red Cross and the communities she works with makes her our Florence Nightingale.
"We are delighted Vivien is being recognized by the International Red Cross and Red Crescent community for her efforts."
Lusted becomes just the fifth Irish nurse to receive the honour since its establishment in 1912.