A MIDWIFE who guided the births of 1,004 babies was mourned by grateful parents around Ilkeston this week.
Jean Cadman, who never lost a baby in her 39-year career, was described by one mother as ‘an amazing lady and second to none’.
Jo Burnett, whose daughter Eleanor was Mrs Cadman’s 960th arrival, said: ”She gave you great support, she listened to you and helped you through.
“She always said she would retire when she had delivered 1,000 babies and achieved that.
“You could not ask for a better midwife. You phoned up and she was there,” added Mrs Burnett, 41, who is site co-ordinator at Ilkeston Community Hospital.
Mrs Cadman, 73, died from cancer at home in Stanley on Thursday. Her funeral will be at St Andrew’s Church, Stanley, at 2.30pm on Wednesday, March 7.
Born in Sunnyhill, she became a registered general nurse in a Derby hospital before studying for extra qualifications.
In February 1969, she became a staff midwife and later moved to the Ilkeston area to carry out those duties.
Her youngest daughter Rachel Luscombe said: “That really was her life. She loved it and when she was poorly, she said ‘I’ve had a wonderful life’.
“As children, we used to hear the car going off in the night when mum was called out to another birth. Babies come at a time they choose.”
In the early days, Mrs Cadman used to go by bicycle just like the star of ‘Call the Midwife’, which is set in the 1950s.
And she enjoyed watching the BBC TV show with grand daughter Millie Luscombe, 10, regarding it as an accurate portrayal of her vocation.
“She watched it with Millie, who would ask her questions. She would say ‘yes, it was like that,” added Mrs Luscombe. 41, of Station Road, Stanley, who is an operating theatre nurse at Ilkeston Hospital.
“She delivered twins and triplets. In those days, you didn’t know there was more than one. It was a case of listening to the heartbeat and there was another baby.”
Mrs Cadman also leaves a daughter Judith Bregazzi, 43, of Allenton and daughter Susan Cadman-Morris, 47, who lives in Stanley and has sons Thomas, 12, and ten-year-old Joseph.
Her husband Alan died aged 60 in 1998, shortly after the pair began to make retirement plans. He had been a chargehand porter at Derby City Hospital.
After retiring, Mrs Cadman became treasurer to Ilkeston Hospital League of Friends.
Chairman Mike Perry said: “She did a fantastic job and was always reliable. Jean was a great asset.”
Mrs Cadman was also churchwarden at St Andrew’s where her ashes will be interred with those of her husband.