Kettering nurse stunned by personal letter from idol Jacinda Ardern
The New Zealand PM wrote to her to congratulate her on her work
A Kettering nurse was left crying tears of happiness after receiving a personal letter from her idol Jacinda Ardern.
Dione Rogers, KGH's chief nursing information officer, had just finished watching Netflix with her partner Richard Adams when he told her to check her emails.
She had no idea that he had contacted the New Zealand Prime Minister to tell her about her work at the Rothwell Road hospital.
And she was left shocked when a reply from her landed in her inbox - albeit initially in her junk.
Dione, 48, said: "I didn't know anything about it and last Sunday we were watching Netflix, about to go to bed, and his email pinged.
"He asked me who I would want to hear from and I thought he was messing about and winding me up.
"Then he told me to have a look in my emails and there it was - in my junk! I couldn't believe it so I quickly messaged back and then I got a reply from the Prime Minister's Office.
"I think I read it about four times and then I just cried - for him writing to her and being proud of me and for her, being such a busy lady, to find the time to write back to me.
"She seems to be able to do it all and she is so human."
Dione has had a busy year having been accepted onto a Florence Nightingale Scholarship while working on a master's degree, winning the national Women in Tech Excellence 2020 Digital Leader of the Year Award, taking on a new role at the hospital and overseeing crucial digital projects such as virtual visiting for patients during the pandemic and the rollout of electronic patient records.
Ms Ardern has received praise across the world for her approach to tackling the Covid-19 pandemic, having seen just 26 deaths and 2,470 cases since it began with life there returned to near-normal.
And in her letter to Dione she said the KGH worker's busy life had made her's seem straightforward in comparison, praising her for her "extraordinary achievement".
The letter said: "It can't have been easy - especially since the pandemic hit - to have been working in such a busy and vital role in the NHS."
Dione, who qualified as a nurse in 1994 and lives in Kettering, said the letter was "the cherry on top" of a successful year.
And she offered to host her idol in her garden's gin bar next time she visits the UK.
She said: "I told her that if she was ever in Kettering I would be more than happy to host her for a gin.
"Her office replied to say they would definitely pass it on!"