Former Evening Times Scotswoman of the Year finalist Sister Anne Byrne, who was instrumental in trying to save the Queen Mother’s maternity hospital, has died.
Hailed as an an “angel” of the city, Anne was a huge campaigner during the our “Don’t cut our Cord” campaign to save the Queen Mother’s in Glasgow’s West End.
She passed away last Sunday at her home in Knightswood following a long illness. Her funeral will be held tomorrow at 10am in St Ninian’s Church in Knightswood.
Anne was one of the first bereavement midwives in the UK and offered support, guidance and hope to bereaved families throughout the Glasgow and indeed Scotland when difficult cases were all handled at QMH.
Jean Anne Mitchell, long-time family friend, paid tribute to Anne who helped following the death of her son.
She said: “I have spent this week speaking with many families who like my own suffered the loss of our precious babies through stillbirth or neonatal death (babies that die within the first 28 days of life) who are all devastated by news of her death.
“Anne led eminent obstetricians, midwives and Greater Glasgow health Board in leading the way to Improving Bereavement Care.
“Along with Glasgow Sands Stillbirth and neonatal death charity she worked tirelessly to ensure that every baby counted alive or dead.”
Anne was nominated in 2004 for the Evening Times Scotswoman of the Year Award for her work in the midwifery field and followed on from her campaigning to save the Queen Mum’s hospital from closure.
In 2004 Glasgow health chiefs voted to close the hospital despite warnings this would destroy joint services with Yorkhill Sick Kids.
Jean added: “Anne was a great lady who was completely selfless and who compassionately helped mums, dads, children, grandparents and other extended family members come to terms with their deepest loss, a loss that until it happens to you is furthest from your mind.
“Anne in her own time did so so much for so many and without reward. She even ran aquanatal classes throughout the city which many of us remember fondly the information received and the fun had.”
Anne suffered from Diabetes and firstly lost her toes, then a below ankle amputation followed by a below knee amputation and within a matter of weeks returned to her all important life work looking after mums at QMH. She also supported greatly mums suffering from diabetes.
Jean added: “She was everyone’s go-to friend and confidant. She always did her job to the nth degree and encouraged others to be all they could be and always made extra time for you.
“The City of Glasgow has lost an Angel who was completely selfless.”
Anne is survived by her husband Bernard, children Margaret, James and six grandchildren.