Sadly we have lost three special veterinary friends and advisors who we greatly miss and in Loving memory we would like to acknowledge their contribution to our work.
Nick Mills will be loved and remembered by all those who knew him for the many special attributes he possessed. For me, personally: Nick was the kind of vet a pet owner would want to have, the kind of friend you are lucky to be blessed with. Nick took on the role to become one of our chief advisors to the Foundation in 2006. At that time we were viewed by some people in the veterinary profession with trepidation. Nick never lost sight of my dream to save animals with early detection of MRSA. I had lost my beloved dog Bella the previous year to MRSA (human strain) and Nick could see that MRSA was an emerging problem in animals. He encouraged me in the face of adversity. Nick played an important role in helping the Foundation grow as a new charity.
I first met Nick at the 1st International Conference on animals that we co-hosted with University of Liverpool (2006). He came up to me after the day’s proceedings and introduced himself, praising my efforts to raise awareness of MRSA in the veterinary profession. Since then we struck up a friendship. Over the last two years Nick has helped me develop an interactive training website so that online, all veterinary staff could access information on infection control, thus helping them protect their practice and patients. www.veterinarynursetrainingonline.org was launched at BVNA Congress 2008.
Pet Plan Charitable Trust granted BMF the funds to make this vision a reality and for that we are grateful. Nick was a member of the PPCT board and I know that VNTO was very close to Nick’s heart. I thank God that Nick lived to see the completion of its launch before his untimely death. VNTO is a living legacy to Nick’s passion to benefit animal welfare.
As President of BMF I am proud to have known Nick, not only did he offer me the gift of his friendship but his ongoing advise on clinical issues relating to pet-owners problems. I am a better person for having Nick in my life. I truly respected him in every way. On the occasions when pet-owner’s contacted the Foundation I could rely on Nick’s help to talk issues through with and I learnt so much from him. Whenever I called him, he would always take my calls saying what a pleasure for him to talk with me. Even at the times I caught him knee deep in……attending horses in the field!
The Bella Moss Foundation is truly privileged to have been blessed with Nick Mills as one of our chief advisor for nearly three years.
When I think of Nick, I think of a true gentleman, a man of integrity, with a passion for life, altruistic in every sense. Nick helped so many people unselfishly with no personal gain. He exuded warmth and empathy, when entering a room his character (larger than life) lit up everyone’s mood. Nick made me feel that anything could be achieved and at the same time it would be fun trying.
Nick had so many years ahead of him and for all of us that knew him ( I am sure others will agree) we will feel cheated out of what we hoped would be many more years knowing a man who was exceptionally unique.
The Bella Moss Foundation has lost a special advisor and colleague whom we cherished. I personally have lost a friend whom I respected and valued highly in my life.
Jill Moss (President BMF)
The Bella Moss Foundation tribute to Nick Mills published in The Vet Times
When a young person dies unexpectedly, for those left behind it is always a shock.
Only a few weeks ago, Tracy and I were planning a lecture for this year’s British Veterinary Nursing Conference.
Tracy was a stunning, intelligent person full of life and energy, my role model as she inspired me. I tried not to tell her that too often!
My charity the Bella Moss Foundation has been able to help educate veterinary nurses because of Tracy’s involvement. Her talent for writing and teaching has resulted in the clinical care of pets vastly improving over the last few years, as Tracy passionately promoted good hygiene in veterinary practice.
In 2005 when I started BMF I was an emotional wreck. I was a pet owner who had recently watched my pet Bella die of MRSA. I found Tracy, and she became the shining light in my life. We formed a strategy to help educate veterinary nurses, as we grew closer I was fortunate to discover how much fun Tracy was. A workaholic, she was always there for me. I came to depend on her advice, and I was delighted when she agreed to become a BMF clinical advisor. Whatever project Tracy was involved with she was always looking to promote the work of BMF. I don’t feel that I really ever got to thank her.
It was not just that I valued Tracy’s advise but also her friendship. I am the kind of person who can be led by my heart and not my mind, Tracy had the courage to let me know what she thought and with no ribbons tell me how I might go about something in a better way!
Like all of the people who were lucky enough to see the light that was Tracy Mayne, I am grieving, not just for myself, but for the profession, and most importantly for animal welfare. We have all lost a shining talented, beautiful woman with a heart as pure as they come.
At BVNA this year, Tracy’s lecture will continue her plan to talk about clinical auditing and we will give this lecture in memory of our great clinical advisors and friend.
Tracy, thank you for all that you have done for the Bella Moss Foundation, for your support, your dedication, your endless time even when you had a workload bursting, you were always there for me and I will miss you so very much.
My heart goes out to Tracy’s family and friends and to her clients. We have all lost a shining star a woman who was and always will be an inspiration to those who knew her.
President and Founder the Bella Moss Foundation
Tony Sarma was a veterinary advisor to the Bella Moss Foundation for five years.
I met Tony and his brother Sean on our stand at Crufts in 2007, when they volunteered to help BMF.
Tony was passionate about animal welfare, and about preventing the spread of infections between humans and animals. Tony attended our CPD seminars for vets, and slowly we became friends. I am privileged to have known him.
Before we met, I already had veterinary advisors, many of whom are academic and renowned experts in the field of resistant bacteria. Tony was not just a caring vet, he was also a passionate individual who wanted to help above and beyond any of my expectations.
In 2007, when we met, I was swamped with enquiries from pet lovers asking for more information about the prevention and treatment of MRSA. Tony offered to write educational material for our charity and write our leaflets to help explain what is a complex topic, so that everyone could understand the issues and find out how to prevent pets getting MRSA.
The BMF website started to take on a new look as Tony would write and write, and then say “what next?”
Tony could explain difficult issues to pet lovers, to vets and to nurses. For anyone who needed advice, he was always just an email away.
It became apparent that there was a total lack of information in the public domain to support people with infected companion animals. Tony and I spent hours, often late at night, chatting on Facebook, and having conversations on the phone in which we brainstormed new ideas on how to keep our message in the forefront of the minds of pet lovers and vets.
Tony’s dedication and the way he was always available to me and to the public helped BMF to grow into a charity full of helpful information.
BMF cannot give out medical advice; so at times, when pets are sick and face being euthanised, we need help from our veterinary advisors. Many pets are still alive today because Tony would read through medical records and speak to vets and owners, dealing with individual cases. Often this intervention caused the reevaluation of cases, resulting in a more positive outcome.
Tony never accepted any payment. I joked that I owed him so many dinners, but I never got the chance to treat him.
This is why you will find so much help in the Tony Sarma educational resource centre for pet owners and practice staff.
Tony cared so much about so many people and animals.
Thank you Tony for your help, your dedication and your commitment to our work.
Here and forever you will live on in the hearts of those who visit our website, who sadly did not get the chance to know you.
“I treasured Bella so much after the loss of my late partner Norman, Bella died four years after Norman and I think this is why I want this page to exist so that everyone whose lives have been touched by the foundation can express their loss in a special place. Norman and Bella are now together and not a day goes by where they are not still living in my hearts.”