Re­tir­ing after 35 years in pathol­ogy

Pa­tri­cia Clut­ter­buck takes her last sam­ple for test­ing

Isis Town and Country - - Front Page - Jodie Dixon Jodie.Dixon@isistc­

IT IS pos­si­ble she had taken enough blood in 35 years to fill an Olympic size swim­ming pool.

Her ex­pe­ri­ence and car­ing na­ture, means get­ting a blood test in Childers will never be the same as Pa­tri­cia Clut­ter­buck (nee Sut­ton) has downed her swabs and cot­ton balls and wel­comed in her re­tire­ment.

Known to all her friends and fam­ily as Tr­ish, she was born in Childers and at­tended St Joseph’s Pri­mary School and later moved to Lour­des Hill in Bris­bane.

Tr­ish’s fam­ily owned the fa­mous Sut­tons Bak­ery in Childers.

Her ca­reer path lead to her be­ing trained as a nurse at the Mater Hospi­tal in Bund­aberg and then mid­wifery at the Lady Chelms­ford in Bund­aberg.

As a mid­wife, Tr­ish de­liv­ered many of ba­bies from the Childers area and in the 70s she also nursed in Biggen­den.

In 1981 she made a bold move from nurs­ing to work for Sul­li­van & Ni­co­laides in Childers as the only pathol­ogy spec­i­men col­lec­tor in her room in Ashby Lane.

Tr­ish was without a doubt, a one-per­son show; bleed­ing pa­tients, tak­ing ac­count pay­ments, de­liv­er­ing re­ports to the surg­eries and mak­ing the rooms beau­ti­ful.

She has walked along­side many of her pa­tients, fac­ing bat­tles long and hard and al­though was touched deeply by th­ese ex­pe­ri­ences, al­ways stayed pro­fes­sional and got the job done what­ever it took.

Be­ing in the same po­si­tion for more than three decades it is re­ally quite strange in this day and age.

Tr­ish has done many du­ties above and be­yond what was ex­pected of her and quite of­ten drove blood for a pa­tient over to the lab­o­ra­tory in Bund­aberg her­self after she fin­ished work for the day.

She has been a fa­mil­iar face to many peo­ple in Childers and sur­round­ing ar­eas who when ex­pe­ri­enc­ing pe­ri­ods of ill-health reg­u­larly vis­ited Tr­ish for tests.

Tr­ish meet her hus­band-to-be and fa­ther to her much-loved chil­dren, Ben while work­ing as a nurse in Bund­aberg and when Ben was an am­bu­lance of­fi­cer.

The cou­ple mar­ried and lived in Bund­aberg, Raven­shoe and then re­turned to Childers in 1972.

The proud­est of par­ents of their five chil­dren, and 15 grand­chil­dren that they both just adore.

Tr­ish has been talk­ing about re­tir­ing on and off for more than a decade but has al­ways loved her work.

She could’ve re­tired ear­lier but al­ways would say “but what will I do?”.

Her spare time is taken up with vol­un­teer­ing with St Vin­cent De Paul, as an ac­tive mem­ber of the Childers Cho­ral So­ci­ety and also reads with the Prep class at St Joseph’s Pri­mary school.

Known for be­ing a fan­tas­tic cook and seam­stress, she made wed­ding dresses for her daugh­ters.

Tr­ish is go­ing to miss ev­ery­one at work as much as the com­mu­nity will miss her and her smil­ing and re­as­sur­ing gen­tle touch.

Neil She could’ve re­tired ear­lier but al­ways would say ‘but what will I do?’

RE­TIR­ING: Pa­tri­cia and Ben on their 50th wed­ding an­niver­sary. PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

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