Maggie Ellis.
Article Type: Obituary
Subject: Occupational therapists (Biography)
Authors: Gregory, Ann
Sene, Anne
Pub Date: 03/01/2010
Publication: Name: British Journal of Occupational Therapy Publisher: College of Occupational Therapists Ltd. Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 College of Occupational Therapists Ltd. ISSN: 0308-0226
Issue: Date: March, 2010 Source Volume: 73 Source Issue: 3
Persons: Biographee: Ellis, Maggie
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United Kingdom Geographic Code: 4EUUK United Kingdom
Accession Number: 221919021
Full Text: Maggie Ellis died on 8 July 2009 following a short illness, as a result of being diagnosed with a brain tumour in April 2009. She was a longstanding and valued member of the Oxfordshire Children's Community Occupational Therapy team. Maggie faced her last days with dignity, grace and courage and died at Katharine House Hospice, Banbury.

The year 1989 was a turning point in Maggie's life. She started her career in occupational therapy, training for 3 years at Dorset House. After qualifying, Maggie went on to work for 16 years in paediatrics. She was a highly competent practitioner, with the imagination and the drive to bring new ideas to the profession.

As part of her role, she worked as a senior therapist completing multiprofessional assessments within community paediatrics. She was involved in assessing babies and small children with a range of significant disabilities, including complex motor, sensory and perceptual problems.

Maggie applied her knowledge of complex theoretical concepts to her work. Her assessments were thorough, detailed and authoritative. All who worked with her learnt a tremendous amount from her contributions to the team understanding of a child's difficulties.


At the same time, she acknowledged the limitations of the current understanding of the nature of children's neurodevelopmental difficulties and retained an enquiring approach that encouraged others to reflect on the puzzles that many children's difficulties present.

Maggie, when presenting her assessments, never failed to attend first to the positive attributes of a child before his or her difficulties. Even when others struggled to identify a child's strengths, Maggie could see them. Maggie saw children as children first and never lost sight of the primary objective of her work to help the individual child to lead a more fulfilling life.

Maggie had an advanced knowledge of sensory processing and autistic spectrum disorders. She was an active member of the Sensory Integration Network and attended many courses and meetings as part of that group.

Maggie was a valued member of the team, being actively involved in service and staff development and support as well as student education.

Maggie was passionate about style and design, cooking and entertaining. She was a devoted mother and grandmother. She had three children, David, Sarah and Richard. Maggie and Lance Heyman were together for 7 years and married in May 2009. They shared a wide range of outdoor pursuits together--cycling, running and canoeing--which made her colleagues feel exhausted!

Maggie was a talented and creative person, who was not only wonderfully positive, supportive and kind but also great fun to be with and so full of life--and a great inspiration to all who knew her. She was always interested in hearing what those around her had to say, had a special way of making them feel important and interesting and never really blew her own trumpet.

In her dying, Maggie has certainly set an example of courage to all. She is sadly missed by her family, colleagues and the families she worked with.

Ann Gregory and Anne Sene, Oxfordshire.
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