West Bromwich's beloved MBE nurse to retire after 56 years of care

A nurse who was awarded an MBE for her years of service is retiring after 56 years of caring for patients.

Rose Butler MBE, who is retiring as a nurse after 56 years
Rose Butler MBE, who is retiring as a nurse after 56 years

Rose Butler started her nursing career in 1965 when she joined the state-enrolled nursing programme at West Bromwich and District General Hospital, successfully qualifying 18 months later.

The Sandwell nurse went on to reach several incredible milestones - such as having a baby girl named after her and receiving an MBE in 2008.

Ms Butler said: "I remember when I was travelling to Buckingham Palace, I had butterflies in my stomach. I couldn’t eat anything on the day because I was so nervous.

“It wasn’t the first time I had been to the Palace – I’d been invited to a Garden Party previously and met the Queen and Prince Philip which was equally as nerve-wracking but also amazing.

“When I received my MBE from Prince Charles, he asked me how long I had been nursing, and whether I enjoyed the job. It was a very special experience.”

Ms Butler found out about her namesake when a man asked to see her outside her ward at Sandwell Hospital, and she recognised him as the son of a patient she had nursed a few months earlier.

Unfortunately, the patient died, but his son Terry was so grateful that he and his wife decided to name their daughter after her - then bring her down from Newcastle to meet the nurse she was named after.

The nurse from Smethwick said: "I was so overwhelmed and honoured that Terry had named his baby after me, because of the care I had given his father when he was being treated on Lyndon 5.

“I remember Terry and his pregnant wife visiting his father. Unfortunately he died, and afterwards Terry went back up to his home in Newcastle and I never heard from them again until that day when he turned up at the hospital.

“I’ve had other people send thank you cards and one woman sends me a bunch of red roses every year on my birthday. It really brings home how much people value the care they or their loved ones receive and how important the role of a nurse is.”

Over the years the mum-of-two has only left the profession twice and very briefly. Shortly after she married she moved to London with her husband, but within a year, they came back to her hometown of Smethwick with Rose returning to the District Hospital to pick up where she left off.

She added: “Before I joined the course, I wanted to be a teacher, but I guess I was inspired to be a nurse by my cousin. Strangely enough when I was at school in my native Jamaica, the teachers nicknamed me nurse, so I was destined to be just that. Nursing is a real pleasure and it always will be."

Comments under a Facebook post made about her retiring show the extent of how much love she has given her patients and how beloved she is in return.

Susan Hunt said: "My beloved Rose Butler, an amazing nurse and a beautiful lady. A gift to patients and a inspiration to colleagues. A legend in my heart."

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