OUR country's nurses wake up to work around the clock to care for patients of all ages, with all kinds of illnesses.

Since the coronavirus pandemic began, they have been working harder than ever and putting their own lives at risk, to care for those in need.

So with today marking International Nurses Day our readers wanted to thank the frontline heroes across Harwich and Manningtree for their dedication to saving lives.

Pauline Crisp, from Harwich, has personally thanked the "incredible" nurses at the Mayflower Medical Centre, in Dovercourt.

She said she especially wanted to thank her auntie Debbie Cook, who is an "amazing nurse".

Pauline added: "She as well as all the staff deserve so much recognition for what they do especially at the moment with all that's going on."

Kirsty Mortimer, from Harwich, thanked all the Trinity Ward staff at the Fryatt Hospital for their selfless work.

"They all made my grandad so comfortable in his last days of his life and for that I'm truly grateful," she added.

Resident Rita Freeman said her mum Liz Gosbee she is a nurse at the Trinity Ward and is her absolute hero.

She said: "She risks her life whilst saving others.

"I am so proud of her and how she is powering on in this time of struggle."

Kalie Mills' cousin Nicky Palmer is a senior community nurse based at the Fryatt Hospital.

Kalie said: "She and her team are working very hard to ensure patients are kept well within their own homes during this pandemic.

"Some of them require palliative care.

"Nicky and the team of district nurses have had to make special care plans to ensure everyone is safe but also getting the care and treatment they need.

"On a personal level Nicky also takes her work home and will always offer advice and treatment to her own family members for which I’m personally very thankful.

"She really is a star nurse."

Claire Rumsby said: "My partner Samantha Goddard works for Anglian Community Enterprise as an advanced nurse practitioner.

"Her role has totally been adapted throughout this pandemic and is prescribing and caring for patients approaching end of life, she is an amazing nurse and always goes over and above her role, she is always helping others and giving advice where she can."

Samantha serves people in both Tendring and Colchester.