COLLEAGUES of a veterinary nurse who tragically died this year have created a memorial garden in her honour.
Rosemary and rambling roses have been planted in the garden at Dunedin Vets in Tranent, East Lothian, as a tribute to head nurse Rose Usher-Smith.
Rose, who worked at the practice for 13 years, failed to turn up for work on Friday 1st June, and concerned colleagues alerted police, who found her at home. A post mortem revealed she died of natural causes. She was 36.
Her death devastated colleagues and shocked clients whose pets were treated by Rose. Clients were invited to leave tributes in a book of condolence and some even donated money to buy plants for the garden.
Her fellow veterinary nurses bought a silver plaque to be placed on a wall in the garden, which was built by Chris Monk, before the horticulture was completed by Margot Hunter, both clinical directors at Dunedin Vets.
The death of the popular head nurse devastated her colleagues, with many still struggling to come to terms with the tragedy, but Mrs Hunter admitted the garden is bringing them comfort.
“Rose was a wonderful friend and colleague to us all and the garden is a lovely tribute to her,” she said.
“She was a keen gardener and it was created just how Rose would have wanted it – it’s very natural and not at all showy. We have rosemary, rambling roses, bog plants and a water feature with water lilies that she would have loved. We have also planted a Rowan tree at the bottom of the car park.
“Rose’s death had a huge impact on us and some of our staff aren’t coping well. We are supporting each other and now have a place to go for quiet contemplation and remember the wonderful person she was.”
All four of their surgeries in Tranent, Dunbar, Prestonpans and North Berwick closed on the day of her funeral so colleagues could travel to Kingussie, near Aviemore, for the service, although a locum vet handled emergency cases.
Because of the high esteem in which Rose was held at Dunedin Vets, the practice has decided not to appoint another head nurse. Instead Fiona McLaren and Nicole Paprotny have been appointed as joint senior nurses.
Mrs Hunter added: “Rose was a major cog in the wheel at the practice. She linked everyone together – vets, nurses and admin staff. She went above and beyond when it came to the care of our clients’ pets, she was very knowledgeable and knew how to handle animals.”
Rose is survived by parents Janet and Jeremy Usher-Smith and brothers Ben and Jonathan.
Born in Somerset, Rose spent part of her childhood living in the Sultanare of Oman, before her family settled in Kingussie, near Aviemore. She then moved to Tranent in East Lothian when she joined Dunedin Vets a head veterinary nurse in 2005.
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