BELOVED NURSE: Joy Pitman (back) alongside former nurse unit managers Rosemary Goudie, Louisa Dufty, Rhonda Nelson and Kim Sigmierer at her send-off party at the Biloela RSL. Picture:Contributed
BELOVED NURSE: Joy Pitman (back) alongside former nurse unit managers Rosemary Goudie, Louisa Dufty, Rhonda Nelson and Kim Sigmierer at her send-off party at the Biloela RSL. Picture:Contributed

Meet the Qld nurse who has delivered 2000+ babies

SHE'S helped more than 2000 Biloela bubs come into the world, so Joy Pitman's retirement really is the end of an era for Biloela Hospital.

Mrs Pitman's 32 year career was cut short last year following the unexpected and tragic passing of her husband of 34 years Adrian Pitman.

Her grief for the loss of a man who has been there by her side from the days she was studying to be a midwife was put to one side for a send off Mrs Pitman will never forget.

Two weeks ago colleagues from far and wide gathered at the Biloela RSL to reflect and celebrate Mrs Pitman's wonderful career.

"Wow, it was beautiful how they decorated, the photos and seeing people I worked with from 20-30 years ago who came from everywhere as far as Caloundra and Roma," Ms Pitman said.

"I know it was for me but it was for everybody else really because the nurses here hadn't seen them for so long, which made it a massive reunion.

"Nobody sat down, everyone walked around all night mucking around and I was crying all night."

Ms Pitman was also sent off with a lunch and a series of practical jokes at the Biloela Hospital, with staff covering her in shaving cream and wrapping her car up with toilet paper.

"There were three guests on the night who I'd actually birthed and now they work at the hospital with me," Ms Pitman said.

"You give them their flu needle and say 'you know I changed your nappy when you were born'."

Never far from her thoughts is the man she met in Mackay in 1978 while she was studying to be a midwife.

At the end of Ms Pitman's studies, the pair moved and settled at their third-generation family farm, 25 kilometres outside of Biloela, and married in 1895.

Mr Pitman suffered a cardiac arrest on June 7, 2018 at their property after he and a pair of mates, 'Stretch' and Ian Wilkie tended to a fire in Mr Pitman's shed.

"They were they talking to Adrian because they couldn't do much more until the fire department arrived and, just in the middle of talking, Adrian just dropped," Ms Pitman said.

"They did CPR and had QAS on the phone talking them through.

"Normally out there internet is poor but they had four bars where they were, which is crazy, we never have four bars on the network.

"The QAS came but they couldn't do anything for him because he had a big cardiac arrest and was gone."

"When I got there it was horrible and some of the girls from the hospital had already gotten to the farm as I came back from Baralaba.

"Bernie, one of the girls there from the hospital, was sitting with Adrian, keeping him company, and the sun came through onto his face and it was just beautiful and we both said we'd never forget that."

As she faces the future without her husband and her work Mrs Pitman is focused on starting up a Biloela Hospital Auxiliary to help fundraise the hospital she holds dear, while also juggling working on the property with her son Sam.

She is also looking forward to her daughter Jess and her family moving on to the family property in the near future.

"I'm grateful and thankful for the friendships I've made with the ongoing support and lifelong friendships."



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