Talk about dedication: Leeds woman clocks up 50 years of nursing - Yorkshire Evening Post
SHE'S spent 50 years working in nursing.
Now Leeds nurse Sarah Sheehy is preparing to put away her uniform for the final time – perhaps.
She has already "retired" twice previously and isn't counting out another return entirely.
She said: "I always wanted to retire at 55," she said. "But circumstances decided otherwise."
The 68-year-old started nursing training in 1959, earning £9 a month.
Originally from Sligo in Ireland, she trained at Whipps Cross Hospital in London.
She "absolutely loved" the experience and on qualifying, stayed in London but she and her then-husband struggled to afford a house in the capital and decided to move north.
"We decided it was between Leeds and Liverpool," she said.
"So on the toss of a coin we came to Leeds."
She initially worked at the now-demolished Killingbeck Hospital before moving to St James's in 1971.
After a few years, she moved to neurosurgery at the old Chapel Allerton Hospital for nine years.
Following that she went back to St James's as night sister, spending 19 years on the Beckett Wing, and 31 at Jimmy's in total.
In 2000, at the age of 60, she officially retired.
She'd already decided she wanted to carry on working so after a break she became a night co-ordinator at Seacroft Hospital.
"I went to Seacroft for a year and stayed for six years," she said.
Then she moved to the community care ward, where she worked before giving up for the second time in 2007.
"I had two weeks at home and I thought 'I need to be doing something'," she said.
She joined an agency who supplied staff to her last ward and since then has done a few shifts a week. Now Mrs Sheehy is moving from Garforth to Sunderland, nearer her daughter Annie.
Her other two daughters Janet and Marie live abroad and her son John died two years ago.
The grandmother-of-six said: "It's a big wrench leaving Leeds after 44 years.But on the other side of the coin it's practical to be nearer one of my children and my only grandson in England."
She said the best thing about nursing was making a difference: "It's when you see people who came in at death's door getting better and going home," she said.
"It's so worthwhile. You feel you've done a good night's work."
Colleagues still don't believe she's really leaving – and even Mrs Sheehy admits that as well as the pastimes she's planning to take up, she might just see if there are any nursing shifts going.