A hospital mortuary lead who has been particularly praised for his work with Walsall’s Muslim community has retired after just over 33 years’ service.
Senior Anatomical Pathology Technician Colin Humphries is now looking forward to a well-deserved rest.
Colin started his career when he joined a funeral director’s after leaving school.
In 1988 he became a trainee mortuary technician at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust and progressed throughout the years achieving a diploma in Anatomical Pathology Technology in 1998 before finally becoming the department lead.
The father-of-four said:
“What I have enjoyed the most during my career is the families. The feeling of knowing you are able to help somebody during such a difficult time is very rewarding.
“One thing that I always remember is that people never forget how they were treated at that moment in time. I may not remember everybody due to the amount of people I see but knowing that I can make their experience as positive as I can is something they will carry with them for life.”
When asked what he will miss the most Colin, aged 52, said: “I will really miss the people. I have made so many relationships over the last 30 years and we have all evolved together. However, I will not miss waking up at 5.45am and being on call!”
Colin has also been praised by the Union of Muslim Organisations (UMO) for his work and support shown to the Muslim community.
UMO Chairman Mohammed Ali, UMO Chair of Trustees/Vice Chair of Community Group Mahmood Sacha and UMO Secretary/Funeral Director Imran Sacha made a surprise visit to Colin to award him a trophy and gifts to thank him for all he has done.
Mr Sacha said: “Colin is absolutely incredible! He is always there to help in times of need. He has been so sympathetic to the Muslim community because our turnaround for burial is 48 hours. He has been especially supportive and respectful with this during COVID-19.
He added: “He is such a humble, gentle chap. His whole team is amazing and supportive and Colin will be leaving a legacy.”
Colin explained: “When I first started no one understood the burial process. I got together along with members from the Muslim community and we all worked together to help understand and help each other better and now we have a really good and respectful relationship between us.”
Considering he is usually planning things, for once, Colin has not planned anything for his retirement and will be relaxing for a month – after which he has plenty to do!
Colin added: “Tomorrow is not promised so it’s always important to make sure you have a decent work life balance and make time to do the things you enjoy. I am grateful every day as there are so many that never got to see another day.”