AN award-winning nurse, who devoted her time caring for those with diabetes, has died aged 57.

Sister Josephine Ross (née Bevan) died in Nevill Hall Hospital on February 9 after a short illness. The Ebbw Vale nurse led the diabetes nursing service across Gwent and received the Community Health Council’s first Tudgay award for her outstanding contribution to the care and support of diabetic patients in 2008.

Mrs Ross died from a stroke after suffering with a heart condition for the last year.

Professor John Saunders, a colleague for 33 years, said: “Josie was totally committed. Nothing was too much for her – she was one of the most outstanding nurses that I have ever worked with. She demonstrated practical compassion with much wisdom.

“She got on enormously well with patients. Josie could identify with them, they would tell her things that perhaps they wouldn’t tell someone in my position.”

Sister Karen Fulton, said: “We have lost a hugely valued colleague and friend. She taught us all so much and already we miss her terribly.”

Mrs Ross grew up in a family of six sisters and attended Ebbw Vale Grammar School. She excelled in swimming and competed for Wales.

On leaving school, she underwent nurses training before starting work on the acute medical ward at Nevill Hall Hospital in 1981. She became the second diabetes specialist nurse to be appointed in North Gwent in 1989 and devoted her energies to improving the lives of those with diabetes, initially caring for diabetic children as well as adults.

Mrs Ross lived in Abergavenny and could often be seen walking her dog beside the River Usk. Her husband Andrew died suddenly over three years ago.

She is survived by her mother and five sisters. Her funeral will take place at St Michael’s Catholic Church in Abergavenny on Monday at 10.30 am.