A HEARTFELT tribute has been paid to an 'incredible nurse' at Cumberland Infirmary's Intensive Care Unit after she lost her life in a crash. 

Melissa Delaney, 41, was one of two fatalities following a crash on the A75 on February 13. 

Melissa was en route to the 'job she loved' at the time of the fatal three-car crash. 

She has been a pillar in the ICU since 2006, later attaining the respectful designation of a Sister in 2021.

In a tribute from colleagues at North Cumbria's Integrated Care (NCIC), they said 'care was at the core of what she represented'. 

"Mel had a huge heart and the outpouring of emotion from colleagues, friends and family alike shows how much she was loved and respected by so many.

"She was a strong and a vocal advocate on the unit for our patients and what she felt was right, never shying away from a challenge and always willing to stand up for her beliefs.

"She had an amazing sense of humour and was rarely seen without a smile on her face; a constant source of craic within the team and coffee room discussions.

"She was so incredibly proud of her family, Stuart, Niamh and Erin and frequently talked about her love for them alongside her pride in their achievements.

"Our thoughts are particularly with them at this horrendous time, we are all thinking of them."  

The ICU team recalled Melissa’s brave participation during the pandemic with her spirit and humour being critical for the team’s morale whilst offering a shoulder of support to anyone who needed it. 

"Our thoughts are with all her friends and family at this dreadful time, she leaves a hole at the heart of our team and many are struggling to see how it could ever be repaired," the tribute continued. 

"The grief may, in time subside but she will never be forgotten and will remain forever as part of our family.

"Somehow, as colleagues we have to make sure the care of our patients continues without her as she would have wanted but we are diminished by her death.

"As one ex-colleague said in a condolence card to the team, Mel was a force of nature. She truly was."