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Ena Schroeder was a minor character in Call the Midwife. She was played by Kerry Godliman.

Overview[]

Ena is Julie's mother. She and her husband Alf Schroeder (Nick Waring) have an ever-growing family, with a new baby on the way, and Ena is struggling to cope with the prospect of her teenage daughter's death. Alf became Julie's father when she was five years old but struggles to demonstrate his affection.

Biography[]

Ena Schroeder is the mother of Julie Schroeder who is suffering from Hodgkin's disease, also known as Hodgkins's lymphoma and the nurses of Nonnatus House needed to dress her burns. When Sister Hilda is dressing burns Ena made her some tea and let her help herself to the jug, Ena then sits down hardly getting any rest with three sons. Ena’s husband arrives home as he forgot his sandwiches which Ena tells him were on the twin tub, Ena then explains her husband Alfred was a German prisoner of war and Julie was just five when they met and was terrified, but they married and Julie also took Alfred's surname which she says wasn’t much fun at school. Alfred also tells Sister Hilda about the fact Ena hadn’t seen a nurse in six months.

Ena is taken on as a patient by Nonnatus and Nurse Lucille Anderson tests her blood pressure which was spot on but her ankles were swollen. Before Ena can respond she admonishes her son for playing with a cricket ball indoors, saying that just because their fathers a glazier they don’t think it matters if they smash windows. Ena refused to rest, refused to eat liver and wouldn’t even knit which according to Julie everyone in the family way should, Nurse Anderson tells Ena she must make allowances for her health or she’ll end up in St Cuthberts, Ena hated that idea as even the smell made her gag, is made Julie gag too and she didn’t know how she’d get her through the door next time. Julie snapped there may not be a next time while eating her toast, Ena tells her daughter the only way there won’t be a next time is if she’s cured of her cancer.  

Ena attended the clinic at the Iris Knight Institute, though only after Julie started cracking the whip. Ena lay down on the bed while Julie waited outside, it turned out that the treatment hadn’t worked and her cancer was terminal, according to Julie Ena refused to believe nothing could be done.  

Sister Hilda arrives at the Schroeder home both Julie and Ena knitting for the new baby, with a tank that Ena at first thought was her gas and air but was actually oxygen for Julie to help her breathing. Sister Hilda suggested Julie attend the upcoming ballroom of hope as she always wanted to go to a dance.  

Ena went into labour and Nurse Anderson is called to the house and Julie was helping her through the labour, Ena panting gives birth to a baby daughter and Julie is first to hold her new sister and Ena was over the moon at her eldest and youngest being girls saying they’d be giving their brothers the run-around for years. Life goes on for the Schroeder's, though it was not as happy a time as Ena would have hoped as Julie needed to be on oxygen a lot of the time.  

Julie becomes very sick and needed a blood transfusion, she was carried out by Dr Turner and after she left Ena wailed with tears. Sister Hilda promised Julie would be coming back but Ena knew Julie wouldn’t be back forever. Luckily the blood transfusion was successful and the entire Schroeder family went to the ballroom of hope, Ena watched as her husband and daughter danced. Ena happily watched as the daughter she may not have long left with fulfil her dream of dancing at a ball.  

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