Devoted nurse to retire after 40 years

A NURSING sister who cared for thousands of sick and premature babies in Colchester for 27 years is to retire.Sheila Crow, 58, wanted to be a nurse from childhood and began her training in 1966.

By Annie Davidson

A NURSING sister who cared for thousands of sick and premature babies in Colchester for 27 years is to retire.

Sheila Crow, 58, wanted to be a nurse from childhood and began her training in 1966.

Mrs Crow, from Brightlingsea, was originally based at the old Colchester Maternity Hospital in Lexden Road from 1979, until the special care baby unit (SCBU) moved over to Colchester General Hospital in January 1997.


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Prior to that she had worked on the children's ward at a hospital in West Sussex and at a hospital school for physically disabled children.

Mrs Crow, who is also a qualified midwife, said she had loved her time in SCBU and retiring had been a difficult decision but it was time to spend more time at home.

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Mrs Crow, the senior sister in charge of SCBU, said: “The babies are so tough, I just love them. They are tiny but they are tough and they just get on with it and get better.

“They are wonderful, they just send out all the signals for you to interpret what they want. It is a wonderful form of nursing.”

Mrs Crow said special care nursing had changed over the years to put the parents at the centre of the baby's care regardless of how sick the child was.

“They don't feel we are doing everything and feel that the baby belongs to them,” she said.

“Parents are much, much more involved now and I really enjoy that bit of it.”

She added: “I'd wanted to be a children's nurse for as long as I can remember and my parents encouraged me, including my dad who had been a nurse in Iraq during the Second World War.

“I can honestly say that even though I've been a nurse for 40 years, I still look forward to coming to work - even when I'm on nights.

“After I had my daughters I came back to work after three months and six weeks respectively simply because I was so keen to get back.

“As well as the babies, I really enjoy supporting their families, getting to know parents, grandparents and siblings.”

Mrs Crow has two daughters, two stepsons and five grandchildren, aged between two months and eight years, as well as her elderly parents who also live in Brightlingsea.

She said she was looking forward to spending more time with her family and to help her relax she and her husband, Bob, had recently bought a beach hut in the Essex town.

Mrs Crow's last day at work is on Tuesday and she will be having a retirement party at the hospital with her colleagues.

annie.davidson@eadt.co.uk

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