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Retirement after 32 years puts the icing on the cake

3 May 2019

You may know her best for serving up a world class cupcake adorned with the best icing and sparkles to Support the Duck Stop Cancer but after 32 years at Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH), Executive Support Officer Tammy Lye-James will be setting aside her keyboard.

“I started 3 April 1986 - I remember it because 3 April is the day before Professor Strong’s birthday and it was the same year Prof Strong became Queenslander of the Year for his work in liver transplantation.

“Working for someone so iconic certainly made my commencement date memorable!” she said.

Tammy’s move to Division of Medicine also had notorious timing considering she moved into the role on return from a brief residency in Bundaberg, which was swiftly followed by the Brisbane Floods in 2011 and a shock breast cancer diagnosis in March that year.

“I took a year off to undergo treatment and returned with a vengeance against breast cancer,” she said. “That’s when I started supporting cancer research through the PA Research Foundation with cupcakes.”

Tammy has raised approximately $50,000 for the PA Research Foundation, has championed and won team duck races from 2012-2017 and it was thanks to hundreds and thousands of cupcakes combined with the will and a commitment of a woman with a vision who brought the masses with her on the fundraising journey.

At a retirement function for Tammy in April, Division of Medicine Nursing Director, Jenny Andrews reminded everyone about the glory days of Tammy being an essential part of the surgical team with her invaluable support of Professor Strong and Dr Wall from 1986 to 2009 as well as her organisation of PA Week for many years.

“The wonderful patient care provided by Tam, Prof Strong and Dr Wall was enhanced by how wonderful Tammy was with patients and families,” she said. “Tammy would have them in the office for a cup of tea while they awaited a bed.

“I want to acknowledge Tammy’s breast cancer treatment six years ago as she was, and is, inspirational in her positivity and we love her for it.”

Tammy’s cupcake business Cupcake Crayzee started with the simple desire to make some cupcakes for a small fundraiser and now she is producing 1000 cakes per bake with 4 ovens running hot - the potential of which sees $2000 raised for the PARF per bake sale. You can follow Cupcake Crayzee on facebook.

Good luck and much love from your PAH family, Tammy.

Last updated 3 May 2019
Last reviewed 3 May 2019

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