Long serving hospital worker retires
BIOMEDICAL scientist Chris Bird has clocked up almost 40 years working in a Suffolk hospital to become its longest serving member of staff.Chris, who retired yesterday, owes more than a successful and enjoyable career to West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St Edmunds – she also owes the unit her marriage as she met her husband Dickie in the pathology department where they both worked.
BIOMEDICAL scientist Chris Bird has clocked up almost 40 years working in a Suffolk hospital to become its longest serving member of staff.
Chris, who retired yesterday, owes more than a successful and enjoyable career to West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St Edmunds – she also owes the unit her marriage as she met her husband Dickie in the pathology department where they both worked.
The senior scientist trained in all sections of laboratory work at the hospital and then moved into the biomedical section in the pathology department where she has been testing samples of mainly blood to help with diagnosis and therapeutic treatment of patients ever since.
She has seen many changes in her 39 years: "It's always been very rewarding work but it's got very much more automated over the years. The volume of work has increased enormously – we're probably doing in excess of 1,200 patient samples now but when I started 12 a day was the norm.
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"It's been a great job because I've learned something new every day and I will miss the work and my colleagues – I work with a great team of people."
Yvonne Field, head biomedical scientist at the hospital, said Chris would also be missed: "Chris has been a supportive and conscientious colleague and we all wish her the very best for her retirement."
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However, Chris, who has a grown up family, has made sure her life in retirement will be anything but dull – she's taking on an Inca trek in the high Andes mountains and says training for the adventure of a lifetime will keep her busy in the coming weeks.
"In September, I will be part of a team going to Peru on a sponsored trek in aid of Bury's St Nicholas Hospice.
"We are going to trek to Machu Picchu, an ancient Inca city high in the Andes and a lot of the trail is between 8,000ft and 14,000ft above sea level. I've been putting off training until I retire so I really am going to have to do something now."
Chris has joined a gym and has already had a programme designed to strengthen her legs for the trek but says the key will be more walking. "I will need to get really fit for this tough trip but from what I hear it's going to be very exciting," she said.
To sponsor Chris on her Peruvian trek contact Sue Meader at St Nicholas Hospice on 01284 766133.