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How a tragic loss galvanised Louisa’s passion for nursing

After losing her first husband to cancer, Louisa understands how deeply personal the impact of cancer is, and the vital need for personalised support.

Louisa Fleure knew she wanted to be a nurse from just three years old, but it was a devastating loss that brought a renewed purpose to her career. 

Pursuing her childhood dream, Louisa completed her nursing training at Guy’s in the late 1980s, but the hospital has become so much more than just a place of work.

Not only where her son was born and where her neighbours are treated, the team also cared for Louisa’s first husband, Phil, before his devastating death from bowel cancer in 2006.

This life-changing experience was a turning point in Louisa’s career. She felt compelled to move into cancer nursing, dedicating herself to supporting those in a situation she knew only too well.

Phil’s death gave me a new focus on what was important and what I felt I could contribute. It brought me back to nursing with a very different perspective, because I'd been there.

Rex with his Saxophone sat with Louisa

After joining the outstanding Guy’s Cancer team in 2008, Louisa is now a Consultant Nurse in Urology, looking after patients like Rex with advanced prostate cancer, and ensuring everyone in her care receives comprehensive, highly personalised care that’s as unique as they are.

This commitment to providing dedicated, tailored support led to Louisa setting up the Advanced Prostate Cancer Club, building a vital network for patients, survivors and loved ones affected by the disease.

“Our club brings the experience of the individual to the heart of what we do. It’s supporting patients way beyond their medical treatment – we’re also trying to give them all the support they need to live well on their treatment, and that’s their quality of life, their relationships.”


Guy’s Cancer embodies everything that's really fantastic about the NHS. It's about a great quality service that's individual and personalised.

Louisa with a microphone giving a talk to a crowd

The group was set up thanks to financial support from Guy’s Cancer Charity, and gives members like Ted and Susie the chance to build connections with those who have been through a similar experience, and get advice and support from others who understand the challenges that they might be facing.

“It’s an incredibly lonely time going through any cancer treatment, and what we’ve tried to do with the Advanced Prostate Cancer Club is build a support network based on exercise, community, socialising,” Louisa explains. ”It’s brought people with similar experiences together to really improve their quality of life.”

For Louisa, who remarried in 2015 and has recently welcomed her second grandchild, the connection with her patients is what continues to drive her enduring passion for nursing.

I think now, particularly when I meet carers and loved ones of my patients, I can bring to it a slightly different angle. Because I know how it feels.”


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