A MIDWIFE who remained on call for 24 hours-a-day for five weeks to help an expectant mother whose first child had died has been nominated for a national award.
Ann Tasker, from Gayle, near Hawes, in the Yorkshire Dales, delivered Claire Marsden’s first baby, Harry, in December 2009.
Tragically, Harry died of a brain tumour aged ten months.
The bond between the two women grew when Mrs Tasker, 51, comforted the grieving mother and attended Harry’s funeral.
When Miss Marsden, of Long Preston, near Settle, fell pregnant again in 2011, she asked the midwife if she would deliver her second baby.
Mrs Tasker agreed and remained on call all day, every day for the final weeks of the pregnancy.
When Miss Marsden finally gave birth ten days after her due date, the midwife rushed the 38 miles from her home to deliver baby Lily at Airedale Hospital, in Keighley, West Yorkshire.
Miss Marsden said: “When Harry died, Ann got in touch with me straight away and offered me her sympathy and a shoulder to cry on.
“I needed it as I felt I had a connection with Ann as she had brought Harry into the world.
“Ann attended Harry's funeral and she was the only person I wanted around me.
“When I became pregnant again in 2011 I was very anxious and asked Ann if she could or would deliver this baby .
“With the support of her managers at Airedale, Ann put herself on call 24 hours a day in the last few weeks of my pregnancy.”
After Harry’s death, Miss Marsden launched a charity, Harry’s Star, to raise money for children and their parents when a child is diagnosed with a brain tumour.
So far, the charity has raised more than £50,000, with Mrs Tasker helping by selling animal toys, known as Harry’s farm animals.
The midwife also organised a walk over the Yorkshire Three Peaks which raised £2,500, and is planning another walk along the Dales Way.
To recogise the help and support she received from Mrs Tasker, Miss Marsden nominated her for a patient’s choice award at The Nursing Standard Nurse Awards.
Mrs Tasker, who is now working as a community midwife in Barnard Castle, County Durham, said she was delighted to be put forward.
“There’s a lot of negativity about the NHS at the moment but this is something positive – it’s recognition of the hard work we do, not just me but for everyone.”
Mrs Tasker has been selected as one of four finalists and the public is being urged to vote for their favourite at patients-choice.co.uk
Voting closes on April 25.