TAMESIDE Council worker Tom Butterworth was expecting a routine visit when he went to check on a resident.
But he was amazed to discover that Beryl Maxwell was the midwife that helped bring him into the world.
And after Beryl ensured Tom’s safe delivery 25 years ago, their roles have reversed as he’s now helping ensure she’s kept safe.
The chance reunion happened while Tom was carrying out client reviews for the council’s Community Response Service (CRS), which helps vulnerable residents live independently in their own homes.
The visit was to test equipment installed at Beryl’s Ashton property, such as a pendant alarm and smoke alarms.
While Tom was checking that Beryl’s details were up to date, the pair began chatting with Beryl explaining how she had worked as a midwife at Tameside Hospital for 26 years, where she was known as Sister Maxie.
Tom told her that he was born in Tameside during that time and after he left he checked with his mother who recognised the retired midwife’s name immediately.
Tom returned to tell Beryl. He said: “She was really happy and gave me a hug and said how amazing it was to meet again so many years later.
“I couldn’t believe what a small world it is. Twenty five years on and now I’m helping her after she helped bring me into the world. It made my day. She’s a lovely lady and I was already having a good chat with her even before I realised who she was.”
Beryl said: “It was a funny feeling – like this can’t be happening. It’s a good shock, a surprise. It gives you goosebumps. Some things are meant to happen.”
Beryl correctly predicted Tom would grow up to be over 6ft tall. She said: “He has grown up to be a big man and I feel proud, as if I had a hand in it – well I suppose I had two hands helping bring him into the world!
“I enjoyed being a midwife. It’s a wonderful experience to see a new life being born and to see a good outcome helping mummy and baby and daddy.”
CRS offers a range of technology and equipment, such as personal alarms linked to a 24-hour response centre and health monitoring devices, to help people remain independent and safe in their own home.
Beryl, originally from Trinidad, has used the service for more than three years after suffering falls and says the pendant alarm gives her peace of mind.
She added: “Otherwise, if you have a fall and don’t have your phone on you, then you’ve had it. It’s a good system. Someone is always there on the other end. I find it a very valuable service. If I’m worried about something I can ring up and ask and they will support me.”
Tom’s worked for CRS for more than three years, initially in the control room. He took on his new role doing client reviews in April, adding: “I’m loving it. You get to meet and have conversations with a lot of interesting people who have lived fascinating lives.”
For more information about the service visit https://adultportal.tameside.gov.uk:14500/web/portal/pages/careathome or call 0161 342 5100.