A local midwife, who has dedicated 41 years of her life to the NHS, has retired on her 60th birthday.
Theresa Shaill, who has delivered many a bonnie baby into the world, is described by daughter Judy as a “very special lady” in more ways than one.
“My mum is one of a kind. She is absolutely incredible at what she does and she has dedicated her life to her work. She’s old-school and there’s not very many midwives in the NHS like her these days. “They’re all retiring!”
Theresa began working at the old Buchanan Hospital, St Leonards on Sea. in 1980 until 1996. She then worked as a community midwife until 2009 when Theresa semi-retired, returning to work part time as a specialist midwife - her role until her last day in the profession on February 28, which coincided with her 60th birthday.
Theresa juggled career with parenthood raising Judy and sister Carrina. Judy said: “So, as well as caring and looking after pregnant mums she has also been a single parent to both me and my sister since we were very very small and has supported us through so much - all the ups and downs. She’s such a giving person.
““Mum helped and supported so many families and brought in so many little lives into the world.”
Theresa said the reason she chose to be a midwife was so that she could look after mums during and after their pregnancies and bring new lives into the world and has many unique memories. “All women are special, but the real special memories are seeing the mums go on to have happy, healthy babies and enjoy them. Basically the joys of being a midwife!”
Theresa, who also has two grandsons, Owen (6) and Jack (1), said she is a fan of BBC’s ‘Call The Midwife’, which is set in the fifties, she said: “I thoroughly enjoy that programme. “It shows life as a midwife as it really was in those days. It shows the dedication, devotion and duty we had towards these mums.”
A party celebrating Theresa’s retirement and 60th birthday was held for family and friends at Sidley Children’s Centre.
Theresa said she is planning a holiday later in the year and looking forward to relaxing, adding: “I’m sad to retire, but it’s time to let the young ones have a go. They can run faster than I can and they know how to use a computer!”