A LOCAL NHS midwife retired from her nursing career last week after 43 years of serving the local community.
Fiona White (61) is originally from the Larne area, however, has lived in the Ballymena area since 1991.
A familiar face in the borough, Fiona worked in the Waveney Hospital for many years and is a member of Kells and Connor WI.
Family and friends celebrated the end of Fiona’s career last Saturday night, at The Carrie Restaurant in Kells.
The evening was also held to raise vital funds for Air Ambulance NI.
Fiona, nee Holden, was born in 1960 at Moyle Hospital.
She attended Killyglen and Linn Primary School before attending secondary school in Greenland.
From 1977-78, Fiona enrolled at Larne Technical College to complete a pre-nursing course.
In 1979, she began her general nurse training at the Royal Victoria Hospital and became a qualified State Registered Nurse in 1982.
She embarked on her nursing career at the Royal on a medical ward before departing for Glasgow to undertake midwifery training at Bells Hill.
Returning home for Christmas, Fiona then gained employment as a staff nurse at Moyle Hospital A&E.
From February to October 1986, Fiona accepted a temporary job at the Neo-Natal Unit at Ballymena’s Waveney Hospital.
Fiona then moved to the maternity unit at the Waveney and was employed there until it closed.
She transferred to the then new Antrim Area Hospital in 1994 and worked in the maternity unit for 28 years until her retirement.
Fiona worked hard but she also found time to play hard and attended Tullyglass and Chimney Corner country music dances.
It was at one of these dances that she met her husband, Sammy White from Glenwherry.
In 1990, Fiona and Sammy got engaged on her birthday and in 1991, she got married on her birthday which coincidentally was also her parent’s wedding anniversary.
Fiona and Sammy set up their first home in Moorefields, before moving to Connor.
In 1993, Fiona and Sammy welcomed their first son, David, who was born at the Waveney Hospital and delivered by Eunice McCracken.
Despite her retirement, Fiona still enjoys a packed schedule with her many hobbies.
She enjoys holidays with her friends of 43 years and the group meet up a few times every year, since completing their training together.
Fiona enjoys holidays with her family and close friend Angela and family.
Fiona is an active Women’s Institute member with her local Kells and Connor organisation, and enjoys walking, crafting, gardening and pilates.
Head of Fundraising at Air Ambulance NI, Kerry Anderson, said: “We are very grateful to everyone attending Fiona’s retirement party for their support of the Air Ambulance NI charity.
“It’s a great tribute to Fiona having done so much for her community as a midwife that these funds will help someone in the community who needs the air ambulance.
“We wish you well in your retirement Fiona and thank you for your support.”