Tree of Life adorns Blacktown Hospital wall as “incredible midwife” Carina Costello remembered

Tara Potts (Clinical Midwifery Specialist), Rachael Coombe (Clinical Midwifery Unit Manager) and Caila Ryan (Patient) in the birthing suite.

Carina Costello was an adored midwife, colleague, daughter, sister and friend.

On 3 April 2020, Carina tragically died, leaving a hole in the hearts of those around her, including the Women’s and Children’s Health team at Blacktown Hospital Midwifery Group Practice.

As a tribute to honour and preserve Carina’s memory, her colleagues funded the installation of a bright boab tree vinyl wall art photographed by Daniel Delgado which was unveiled in January 2022.

Carina’s parents were at the unveiling and were honoured by the wall dedication, Carina’s mum, Kathryn Costello, saying they were “happy and pleased” to be included in the special day.

The birthing suite with the boab tree artwork has become the room of choice by midwives and women for labour and birth.

Carina was an incredible midwife who was passionate about all thing’s midwifery,” said general manager of Blacktown Hospital, Ned Katrib.

“The tree symbolises life; the colour purple represents midwifery; and the sunset is representative of one life setting while another life is born,” explained Ned.

Deputy director of Women’s and Children’s Health, Helen Konowec expressed her pride for the artwork installation to keep Carina’s memory alive.

“The maternity services staff wanted to always remember Carina for her passion and spirit and I’m proud of the whole team who contributed to cover the cost of installing this memorial,” said Helen.

Photos of the artwork were shared on the midwifery group’s Facebook page and hundreds of messages of appreciation flooded in from colleagues, family members and former patients for the touching tribute.

“This is beautiful! I think of Carina often; so blessed to have had her as my midwife,” wrote former patient Tiffany Breeze.

Ariel Blackman, another former patient shared a similar sentiment writing, “Carina was there for both my births and completely changed my life, zero exaggeration. I owe her a debt of gratitude I can never repay, except to pass it on to the other birthing women I serve now.”