Nine sets of triplets give retiring obstetrician the perfect send-off

Published: Monday 29 Apr 2019

Dr Tydeman and some of the triplets he has delivered

Dr Tydeman and some of the triplets he has delivered

Nine sets of triplets returned to their birth place this afternoon as part of a retirement surprise for the man who helped deliver them.

Their visit to the Maternity Unit at the Victoria Hospital was kept secret from Dr Graham Tydeman as colleagues and friends gathered at a lunch to celebrate his illustrious career. The consultant obstetrician is stepping down from his role after spending the last 21 years supporting Fife parents experiencing complex or high risk pregnancies.

The 27 triplets, all of whom are under the age of 10, included Austin, Ellis and Jenson Woodhouse, who were the first triplets to be born in the new Maternity Unit,  and Danielle Hodges who is due to give birth to triplets later this year.

Dr Tydeman said it was a fantastic surprise: “I knew something was happening but I thought I would have a nice, quiet send-off with a few old friends and staff. Then all of a sudden I thought ‘hang on, I know them’ there is a set of triplets – and then another one, and another one, and another one, and then I knew what was happening. It was just fabulous. The relationships you form with people when they are going through such an intense time are deep and they become like friends straight away. It is just lovely to see these people again. I feel it is a real honour.”

Parent of triplets, Hannah Norman, put out a message that Dr Tydeman was retiring on a national triplet and quadruplet Facebook support page, she said: “Within only five minutes of putting out a message on the page nine sets of triplets had already agreed to come along. I think the response was so huge because Dr Tydeman is thought of as such a legend by his patients.”

Dr Tydeman is a renowned inventor and sculptor and has put his innovations to use within medicine on many occasions. His creations include simulation models for obstetric training, such as Desperate Debra and Amnio Abby, and an art installation called the Blood Clock, which was designed to increase awareness of the global problem of postpartum haemorrhage. Consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, Dr Helen Russell, said he has always shown a real passion for helping people: “Graham has a special interest in fetal medicine and in particular has cared for many women with high risk pregnancies, multiple pregnancies, preterm births, and complex cases over the years. Throughout his career he has formed special bonds with the not only the families he has cared for, but also the fetal medicine and wider maternity teams – he will be greatly missed.”

Dr Tydeman officially retries from his role next week and NHS Fife medical director, Dr Chris McKenna, said he will be sorely missed: “We have been extremely fortunate to be able to rely upon such a skilled, compassionate, innovative, and enthusiastic, member of the team for a number of years and the connection Dr Tydeman has with patients and colleagues is clearly a lasting one. That so many former patients got in touch wanting to celebrate Dr Tydeman and thank him for his care is testament to how highly he is regarded and the positive difference he has made to all of their lives. We wish him all the best in his retirement and I am sure he will enjoy spending more time indulging in his other passions, such as travelling the world and paragliding.” 

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