Felicity’s resilience and determination pays off
There was a double celebration for Felicity Curtis from Llanelli today (Friday, January 27), when she graduated with an Upper Second Class Degree in Midwifery from Swansea University’s College of Human and Health Sciences.
Mother-of-two Felicity, aged 34, is also this year’s winner of the College’s new midwifery prize, the Pre-registration Midwifery Award in Memory of Myfanwy McAteer.
The Myfanwy McAteer Midwifery award, worth £50, was awarded this year for the first time in memory of an esteemed colleague who died two years ago.
Myfanwy, or Van as she was known, was a Midwifery Lecturer in Swansea Universityfor several years and was later Head of Midwifery Education until she had to retire on grounds of ill health.
Felicity, who now works as a qualified midwife with the Abertawe BroMorgannwg University health board, will receive the award from the Acting Head of the College of Human and Health Sciences, Jane Thomas and Honorary Professor Gaynor McLean.
Susanne Darra, Head of Midwifery Education atSwanseaUniversity, said: “Felicity showed outstanding dedication, commitment and personal achievement. She has a serious and passionate approach to midwifery and a strong work ethic. To this end, Felicity has worked with outstanding commitment, juggling family life with two young children, to develop academically throughout the programme, and now her endeavours have been rewarded.
“Her achievements in practice have also been recognised by her mentors. She has an exceptional ability to develop rapport with the women in her care. Her kind and caring approach has been commented upon and this must mean a positive experience for women.
“During Felicity’s final year she was faced with significant adversity which only minimally affected her progress, and it was her resilience and determination despite these difficulties, which clearly showed her passion and commitment to her chosen career. These are the qualities which are recognised by the Myfanwy McAteer award.”
Speaking about her award, Felicity said: “Winning the Myfanwy McAteer award is such an honour. I attended a memorial day in the University a few months ago and heard many women speak about Myfanwy from their hearts with such passion and respect. Although I personally never met her, I’m hoping that I can follow in her footsteps and be a worthy recipient of this award.”
The Bachelor in Midwifery is a demanding course, but Felicity had to face many other personal challenges during her studies.
Felicity said: “The midwifery course has its challenges without any life pressures. But with no warning signs, eight months into my second year, my wonderful Dad collapsed and was diagnosed with terminal cancer and just 15 weeks later, as I approached my final year, he passed away. I fought hard to keep myself together. With the support of my family, friends, lecturers and my fabulous cohort I got through it.
“Then, eight months into my third and final year, my lovely mother-in-law passed away and my brother-in-law, who is 33 and has Down’s Syndrome, came to live with us.
“Through it all, my daughters, husband and I pulled together; I stayed focused, dedicated and committed to my degree and my family and friends stayed dedicated and commited to me. And now here I am – a graduate, a midwife and employed! I know that my achievement will have made both my mother-in-law and my wonderful father very proud indeed.”
Felicity added: “The support from the lecturers and my cohort was outstanding; I’m delighted to be graduating with them when I could so easily have been left behind.”