A SCULPTURE in the shape of the pregnant torso of a woman has been unveiled in memory of a dedicated midwife.
The artwork commemorating Pam Cooke, who served as a midwife at Forth Park Hospitalfor 16 years, bears the inscription “A guid midwife should hae ladies hands a hawk’s een and a lion’s heart.”
It was installed in the midwife led unit of the new maternity wing at Victoria Hospital on Tuesday in the presence of Pam’s husband Phil and children Claire and Gary.
They said they were “proud” of her legacy. Pam passed away from breast cancer last May.
The unveiling also coincided with the retiral of long-serving midwife, Doreen Brunton, who was part of the team which helped open the first Midwife Led Unit at Forth Park Hospital back in 1994.
Unveiling the sculpture which was commissioned by local ceramic artist Susan Migele, Cath Cummings, midwifery nurse manager, said: “It was very important for all of Pam’s friends and colleagues who worked with her at Forth Park to do something special to remember her. She was a really special lady.
“She was a wonderful midwife who gave her all and she loved a laugh. We will all look at the sculpture, remember her and smile.”
Phil said: “The whole family is here to see the sculpture. Although it is sad, it is also a proud day for us all to remember Pam.
“When we were first told of the idea we thought it was a good one and, seeing the sculpture, it has a nice bling element to it which Pam would have loved. She loved bling – gold handbags and sparkly shoes, and this has a bit of that.”
Doreen Brunton, sister of the midwife led unit since it opened, also marked her retiral at the ceremony.
She worked closely with Pam, and, together, they won a special excellence award from the Royal College of Midwives for their work in 2008.
Doreen became a registered nurse 38 years ago and originally worked in Dunfermline before coming to Forth Park where she worked for 18 years.
Presenting her with flowers and a gift from colleagues, Cath added: “It was the first midwife led unit of its kind in Scotland and was developed by Mrs Brown and her team of midwives, including Doreen, to help get normality back into giving birth, which until then had been too medicalised.
“There is a wonderful staff team in the unit and the whole friendly ethos will continue under the new leadership of Liz McMurchie.”
Jane McWalter, former head of nursing and midwifery at Forth Park Hospital, described Doreen as “trustworthy and loyal.”
“She was a great support to midwives and student midwives throughout their time with her and when I had any problems regarding any midwifery issues she was there for me to bounce ideas off and assist me with my job.”