Tributes to nurse Bud Downey who devoted life to caring
A NURSE who gave a lifetime of service to the medical profession has died doing what she loved.
Bud Downey, 67, had been a renal nurse in East Yorkshire for 39 years, starting at Princess Royal Hospital and later working at Hull Royal Infirmary.
She suffered a stroke at work on Thursday and did not recover consciousness, passing away on Saturday.
Mrs Downey – who used her maiden name Rosie Ratcliffe in her professional life – is being remembered as a nurse who gave everything to her job.
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Husband Paul, a well-known local businessman, whose achievements have included launching the Mail's sister paper the Beverley Advertiser, said: "When we met we were introduced by a mutual friend who said if we got together I would have to share her with the medical profession because she was the most dedicated and professional nurse."
The couple met in London, where Bud worked at Charing Cross Hospital. But in 1973 Mr Downey was offered work in Hull and planned to move to Yorkshire.
Bud contacted Princess Royal Hospital and found there was a vacancy in the renal unit.
The couple moved to Walkington and soon, partly through Mr Downey's work, became well-known in the Beverley area.
Socially, many people will have known Bud Downey as one half of a successful and outgoing couple.
But, for kidney patients, she was much more than that.
Dr Malcolm Farr, retired Hull Royal Infirmary kidney consultant, said: "I spoke to the husband of one of Rosie's patients and he told me she had been a friend to everybody.
"It was the patient contact she enjoyed, that was the nub of her existence. That sums up her relationship with her colleagues as well."
Retired renal dietician Jen Cochrane, who worked with Mrs Downey for more than 25 years, said: "She was a great nurse.
"Most of the patients loved her.
"Because they are on dialysis we know our patients for a long time. It can be 10, 15, or even 20 years.
"She was a no-nonsense lady who didn't suffer fools gladly but she was totally caring."
Last year, Mr Downey was present when his wife was recognised by the Royal College of Nursing for having achieved 50 years in the profession.
It was another reminder of Bud's towering reputation within nursing.
He said: "We were a partnership but she was the engine room of our lives.
"She seemed able to sense things, she was a great person to have with you in adversity.
"It's hard to explain the volume of goodness she exuded in her life.
"I've been out in town with her when people have come up to her and thanked her for what she's done."
Sitting alongside the couple's son, Ed, 32, Mr Downey is aware of how much they owe to Bud.
He said: "My success was down to her support.
"Bud was an absolutely central part of anything that Ed or I have achieved."