TRIBUTES have been paid to a Cumbrian midwife who died recently after working for the NHS for nearly 54 years. 

Isabella Burns, who was fondly known as Izzy or Isabel, lived in Seaton and recently passed at the age of 69.

Following her sad death, her family and work colleagues put together a tribute which was read at her funeral by Jo McNabb, midwifery matron.

"Isabel worked in the NHS for 54 years. She gave a lifetime of dedication and care to the people of West Cumbria. Isabel joined the NHS in September of 1969. Starting out as a cadet and once trained she worked as a staff nurse for many years on the general side on medical wards and in the Coronary Care Unit.

"She came into midwifery in 1981. For many years she worked as the ward sister of Rannerdale Ward and then as infant feeding lead; achieving West Cumberland ‘baby friendly’ status.

"There was not a breast nor a baby that could defeat Isobel, her patience and knowledge were second to none; she often did house calls at night and gave out her personal number for women to ring.

"Her dedication showed no bounds. Isabel was a harder worker, a grafter. Whenever the unit was in turmoil nothing phased her, she got in and got on.

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"Over the years at the West Cumberland Hospital Isabel had to deal with many changes; changes in staff, in management, in guidelines, and many changing of baby’s bums.

"In times of change, Isabel has always been a constant, part of the maternity furniture. Nobody at the unit can remember a time that Isabel hasn’t been there, she outlasted them all and her legacy will continue and her passion and dedication has inspired many.

"On behalf of the NHS, the maternity unit and the women and families of West Cumbria thank you."

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Users on social media were also keen to share their fond memories of Izzy and reflected on the lasting impression that she left on their lives. 

Lauren Strong said: "Incredibly sad news. She sat with me for about 40mins when my first child was born - helping me figure out feeding and get some sleep. Having her there was so calming and reassuring, I felt so safe.

"I've mentioned her many times since, she had a huge impact on me in my first few hours of motherhood. My thoughts are with family, friends and colleagues. I'll be eternally grateful that she was there for me and my baby."

Laura Kennedy said: "An amazing person and midwife. Isabel saved my baby’s life by spotting something. I really do owe her everything. She will be missed."

Beverley Fletcher said: "Isabel practically moved in with us when I struggled to feed my first son! We lived in the same village, so she gave me her phone number and told me to call her any time.

"She was round within minutes when I did call her and she was so helpful and patient. If it hadn’t been for her, I wouldn’t have persevered with breastfeeding for those ten months. I’ll always be grateful and never forget her."

Izzy's children, Andrew, Kelly, and Katy said: "The family are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and would like to thank everyone for sharing precious memories and tributes and for their kind words during this difficult time."