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Carol Hird

Carol Hird

Monday, July 15th, 1946 - Wednesday, April 29th, 2020
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Obituary

"To the warm and loving people in my life" May 5, 2020 message about Carol Hird's passing



I am sending very sad news about our Carol.

As many of you know, Carol has been fighting ovarian cancer for over four years. Various treatments showed some promise over the years. However, in recent times they no longer worked and she was in palliative care, living at home. Carol passed in the North Shore Hospice on Wednesday evening, April 29th. I was with her, by her side and holding her, as she passed.

Carol leaves behind her stepdaughter Leora Gibson, our son-in-law Trent Gibson, our three grandchildren (Maeve, Torsten, Ella), our loving family in England and Canada, and so many great friends, many of whom have sent condolences and messages of appreciation about what Carol meant to them.

This is heartbreaking news, I know, that I must share with her family and loving friends. There are so many people to contact. Please know that I can picture everyone who is receiving this message from me on her cancer journey blog.



Carol and I were together for over 34 years. We became sweethearts in November 1985.
We had much in common: a passion for education, music, travel, teaching, friendships, and helping people. And more, much more. We took it slowly and as our romance developed we realized that we wanted to make a life together, to leave our single statuses well behind and become a team. Carol was so accomplished, so talented, and also so humble. Of course, she was beautiful and loving.

Early on, at times, I must have thought that she was too good to be true. But then I appreciated that, with her work, including thousands of hours of volunteer work and advocacy on top of her professional work, that this marvellous, talented, giving woman thrived on helping others and advancing health care. Carol believed in evidence-based practice. She would often ask "where's your evidence?" to detractors of midwifery and she worked in venues large and small to advance the interests of midwives and to promote maternal and infant well-being globally. I can only touch on some of Carol's background and accomplishments in today's blog message.

Carol was born in Hull, Yorkshire on July 15, 1946. She was the eldest of five children. Carol completed courses of study in midwifery and nursing in England and worked as a midwife before emigrating to Canada in 1972. Carol worked in Fort Churchill before moving to Edmonton and eventually to Vancouver. She was a champion and leader of the Midwives Association of BC for many years and served on the executive of the International Confederation of Midwives for nine years. In 1993, during the ICM triennial congress in Vancouver, Carol was President of the ICM and vice-president of the MABC. She and thousands of delegates were moved by the announcement from the then-Minister of Health that steps would be taken to establish professional midwifery in British Columbia. Carol was a true leader and deeply involved with many others who lobbied successfully for the recognition of professional midwifery and its establishment in Canada.

She received her MA in Midwifery Practice from Thames Valley University, London in 1996. In 2005, she was honoured by the MABC with a certificate of honourary membership "for her outstanding contribution to the advancement of midwifery in BC especially for achievements with the Int'l symposium in 1993." Carol received the 2009 North Shore Health Care Award Award for outstanding achievement in leadership. Carol's contributions as a clinician, teacher, administrator, nurse, advocate and leader in the midwifery movement resulted in awards and accolades, but I believe she was even more touched by the hundreds and hundreds of thank-yous and touch bases from the people who knew her. She completely adored her family in England and Canada. At this time when people are so deeply saddened it helps to know that Carol is completely beloved and appreciated.

Well before her cancer diagnosis, we became an "every step of the way" couple. Last week, when Carol continued to struggle and to do her best to stay at home, in self-isolation with me and in touch with health providers by phone and email, she said that I was "her strength and stay". Early on I knew that I was "a lucky guy" to be with Carol, that I was fortunate beyond words to have her become the love of my life. I can attest to her courage and how she kept to her daily resolution to "get up, dress up, and show up."

I want to express my gratitude to everyone who has loved Carol and to the many people who have helped her through her cancer journey. Some of these people include her wonderful oncologist, the "earth angel" nurses in the chemotherapy clinic in Lions Gate Hospital, various consultants, scores of people who she worked with, many people who encouraged us and hoped that Carol would be one of the "100 percent Club" whose cancer went into remission. She thrived and took heart in what she called the "jetstream" of love and support from our family and from all of you throughout this struggle with cancer.



I feel huge appreciation for the people who are helping me come to terms with what Carol and I most feared: a time without one another. She feels very much present every day. She will be cherished for all my life and all our lives. There will be a formal celebration of Carol's life at some point but not at this time of pandemic when we can't touch one another or come close.

Tuesday, May 5th is the International Day of the Midwife. The theme for the International Confederation of Midwives 2020 campaign is "celebrate, demonstrate, mobilise, unite - our time is NOW!" And I think that this captures the way all of us we will remember Carol. Our Carol.
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SH

Sonia Harvey

Posted at 01:20pm
Dear Brian and Carol’s family,
I am so sorry to hear of Carol’s passing. I worked along side Carol for several years at LGH. I always respected and admired her strength, her advocacy for women, for babies, for health, for human beings and her “joie de vivre”. I hope the many memories of your past times together will help to sustain your over the years. Carol, Rest In Peace.
Sonia Harvey
BB

Brian Burtch

Posted at 05:22pm
Here is a link to the North Shore News online obituary for Carol.

https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/nsnews/obituary.aspx?n=carol-hird&pid=196352343&fhid=15039
BB

Brian Burtch

Posted at 05:21pm
Here is the text of the more detailed obituary notice that appeared in the North Shore News on June 17, 2020.

HIRD, Carol July 15, 1946 - April 29, 2020 Carol was born in Hull, Yorkshire on July 15, 1946, the eldest of five children to Nell and Douglas Hird. As the big sister to Tina, Tony, Andy and Ian, Carol maintained a constant love of her family in England and later, through marriage, her family in Canada. Carol completed a nursing qualification at Kingston General Hospital, Hull and then completed her Midwifery Teaching Diploma at Sheffield. After working as a district midwife in Yorkshire, Carol emigrated to Canada in 1972. Carol worked in Fort Churchill before moving to Edmonton and eventually to North Vancouver where she continued her work as a nurse and midwife. Carol had an innate ability to help others. She excelled in formal nursing and midwifery programs and developed into a skilled clinician and respected teacher. Carol believed in evidence-based practice. She would ask "where's your evidence?" to detractors of midwifery while maintaining her determination and poise. A champion and leader of the Midwives Association of BC, Carol also served on the executive of the International Confederation of Midwives for nine years. In 1993, during the ICM triennial congress in Vancouver, Carol was President of the ICM and vice-president of the MABC. Thousands of delegates were moved by the announcement from the then-Minister of Health that steps would be taken to establish professional midwifery in British Columbia. Carol was a true leader within a team that lobbied successfully for the recognition of professional midwifery in Canada. Carol received her MA in Midwifery Practice from Thames Valley University, London in 1996. In 2005, she was honoured by the MABC with a certificate of honourary membership "for her outstanding contribution to the advancement of midwifery in BC". Carol received the 2009 North Shore Health Care Award for outstanding achievement in leadership. Carol's contributions as a clinician, teacher, administrator, nurse, advocate and leader in the midwifery movement resulted in awards and accolades, but she was likely more touched by the scores of thank-you cards and letters from women and their families. In this correspondence, she is hailed for her grace and skill throughout pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. Carol was appreciated by midwifery clients and patients in hospital, hailed as a "cool boss", an inspirational teacher, mentor to aspiring nurses and midwives, someone with "the best hugs", and a genuinely interested and interesting person. At this time when people are so deeply saddened it helps to know that Carol was beloved and appreciated. Carol leaves behind her loving husband, Brian Burtch, stepdaughter Leora Gibson, son-in-law Trent Gibson, and three grandchildren (Maeve, Torsten, Ella), along with her deeply loving family in England, British Columbia, and Ontario, and so many great friends. Reflecting on over 34 years of loving Carol, Brian fondly remembers how his Carol was truly "our Carol", someone who belonged to her family, friends, and the many people she cared for. Carol fought ovarian cancer for over four years. Carol passed in the North Shore Hospice on April 29th, with Brian by her side. Brian and Carol felt profound gratitude to everyone who helped her through her cancer journey. These include her compassionate oncologist, Dr. Avanessian, the "earth angels" nursing team and volunteers in the Oncology department at Lions Gate Hospital, her GP Dr. Joanne Larsen, surgeons and surgical teams, and other health professionals and support staff, scores of people she worked with, the two book clubs who cherished her, and everyone who hoped that Carol would be in the "100 percent Club" of remission. She took heart in what she called a "jetstream" of love and support. Donations can be made to the Lions Gate Foundation or the In Memoriam Carol Hird award to support midwifery students at UBC. A formal celebration of Carol's life will take place at a date when we can safely gather. The place and date for gathering will be announced through the online memory page kindly maintained by the excellent staff at McKenzie Funeral Services. May 5th is the International Day of the Midwife. The theme for the ICM 2020 campaign is "celebrate, demonstrate, mobilize, unite - our time is NOW!" This captures the way that many of us we will remember Carol. Our Carol. To write a condolence to the family, please visit www.mckenziefuneralservices.com
BB

Brian Burtch

Posted at 11:39am
Greetings, everyone.
An obituary honouring Carol appeared in the Vancouver Sun and Province newspapers this weekend.
It is available online at
https://vancouversunandprovince.remembering.ca/obituary/carol-hird-1079357606

A more detailed obituary will appear in the North Shore News on Wednesday. Thanks for all the love and support that people have shared on this website and through other channels. Love, Brian
 
BB

Brian Burtch Posted at 12:09pm

Here is the text of today's obituary in the Sun and Province. "Carol thrived on helping people and had an innate ability to connect with others. Born in Hull, Yorkshire, Carol was drawn to midwifery and nursing, completing studies in Hull and Sheffield before emigrating to Canada in 1972. Her work as a clinician, teacher, administrator, nurse and advocate in the midwifery movement greatly impacted her community. Carol was a true leader. She was a champion of the Midwives Association of BC and served on the executive of the International Confederation of Midwives for nine years. Carol was deeply involved with lobbying successfully for the recognition of professional midwifery in Canada. In 2005, she received a certificate of honourary membership from the MABC “for her outstanding contribution to the advancement of midwifery in BC”, including her role as President leading to the 23rd ICM Triennial Congress in Vancouver. Throughout her career, including her many achievements and milestones, Carol was most touched by connections she made with others.. Carol passed in the North Shore Hospice on April 29th after a 4-year battle with ovarian cancer. Her loving husband Brian was by her side. Carol leaves behind her stepdaughter Leora Gibson, son-in-law Trent Gibson, three grandchildren (Maeve, Torsten, Ella), her loving family in England and Canada, and so many great friends. The family is grateful to the caregivers who helped Carol. Donations to the Lions Gate Foundation or to a fund that will honour Carol’s legacy through a student award in Midwifery would be appreciated (https://memorial.support.ubc.ca/carol-hird/)". .
AG

Andy Gray

Posted at 04:10pm
I’m absolutely gutted to lose such a lovely, funny, positive and kind Auntie who gave life everything. Every time I saw her she was so open and honest to me that after a few minutes I could tell her anything. I’ve been racking my brains to find my earliest memory of her and there is definitely a water theme going on between me, Carol and Brian.
I can remember Carol coming swimming with me, my sister and my mum to Ennerdale leisure Centre in Hull. I can’t remember my exact age but I think I was either 7 or 8. I wasn’t the most confident in the water, Carol simply wasn’t accepting that, took immediate action and without notice picked me up and launched me into the air landing with an almighty and spectacular splash.......Not quite as spectacular as the 50mph splash my Uncle Brian managed many years later when he bailed on me in a 2 man tube in Canim Lake which also stays with me but for very different reasons, but still impressive nevertheless. Carols no nonsense action could have gone either way with me, unlike being mentally scarred after Canim with Brian, I said one simple word to my Auntie Carol.......again........ (and) again......... (and) again. I think Carol, bless her managed 1 length in the pool that day but I had the time of my life 1 million throws later with my wonderful Auntie. A wonderful day. Rest in peace Carol. All my love. Andy Gray. X
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