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May Turner (Previously Tang) is the adoptive daughter of Shelagh and Patrick Turner, she came to Britain as part of the Hong Kong adoption project but when her adoptive father was diagnosed with Tuberculosis she went to live with the Turner family and very soon became one of them.

Overview[]

May Tang arrives at the doors of Nonnatus House with three other orphans from Hong Kong, they were brought to the UK by Sister Mildred as part of the Hong Kong adoption project where the children of refugees are adopted by British families. May is noted as being older than the other three, Ming, Sui and Chi but Sister Mildred decides not to discuss her details in front of her as she is just about learning to understand English. Anyway May was going to a seemingly wonderful family with a pony called the Tunnocks. She is taken to the Mother House orphanage where she would stay for a short while before going to her home. When her adoptive family don’t arrive it turns out that her adoptive father was diagnosed with Tuberculosis and would need to spend a year in a sanitorium. This worries the adults as May just wasn’t suited to life in an orphanage, the newly elected Mother Mildred arranges for the Turner family to foster her for the time being.

May and the Turners become very close, especially May and Angela who become both sisters and best friends wanting to be the same in everything. May is given a place on the wall used for measuring height, when Mother Mildred comes to visit she notices the difference for the better living with the Turners has had on May. The Turners bring up how some families foster children for years but it looked like that was not to be, Mr Tunnocks was recovering and was ready to take May. The social worker was confident May would hardly remember her time with the Turners and acted like her year with them could simply be rubbed away. When May leaves the Turners try to look for the future, but when Mr Tunnocks had a relapse she is taken back to the Turners. This time for good.

In Series 9 the Turners plan to fully adopt May, as everything seems set in motion they get word that Mays biological mother Esther Tang is alive and working as an amah for a British forces family, she wants to see her daughter. Her parents are reluctant, they go to meet her and give Esther pictures of her daughter and she seems happily amazed at the fact that her daughter goes to school and learns reading and writing. Despite the pictures Esther still wants to see her daughter in person but when she does May is scared of Esther and she can’t understand Chinese anymore. In anger Esther decides to take May back to Hong Kong where the two could fall back into the old cycle where May could end up in orphanages as her mother couldn’t support them. In one last attempt to save their daughter from being wrenched from everything she knows once again the Turners turn to Sister Julienne who convinces Esther to allow May to stay but she still refuses to sign the papers. This causes a problem as the Hong Kong adoption project cannot be a child’s guardian long term but Esther is adamant.

In Series 10 her oldest brother Timothy is accepted into medical school, she and the rest of the family are thrilled for him. Her mother is worried at all the things he may see as a doctor but her father points out it’s his choice, the wonder if Angela and May would follow their mother into the world of nursing and her father says it would be the only thing that would make him love his little girls more than he did now. To congratulate their brother May, Angela and Teddy put on a small play for him, Angela and May dress up as doctors while Teddy dresses as a lion to show the pride the family has for Timothy.

By the 2021 Christmas special May has completely settled into her life in Poplar three years after she arrived. Though her mother couldn’t help but feel guilty she wasn’t there for her in Hong Kong where May needed the most protection, but her fathers points out she is an excellent mother in the present and the horrors May faced in Hong Kong she can’t remember because she was so young. On Christmas day her parents are called to the maternity home to help a baby born with a heroin addiction. Mother Mildred says May was the same in Hong Kong but the baby can be weaned off from the heroin and Shelagh does this. Meanwhile the little Turner children are sad that their parents aren’t with them on Christmas day so Mother Mildred reads them a Christmas carol by Dickens.

In Series 11 Angela and May have become friends with Nancy Corrigans daughter Colette. But not long after the three little Turner children all get chicken pox at the same time, meanwhile Nancy asks Shelagh about fostering May, Shelagh advises her to make a book for Colette to look at with her foster parents when she feels anxious or homesick. Later on May hurts her foot after playing on unsafe playground equipment, May will need to rest her foot for a few days but will make a full recovery. Her mother gets rather overzealous about replacing the playground equipment but it turns out she is really just scared about what Esther will do when she finds out about May hurting herself but her father tells her that she is an excellent mother and May will fall and hurt herself. When her father is making a train journey back from a midwifery conference something terrible happens, the train collides with another causing a derailment and explosion. Both her father and Sister Julienne are trapped inside a compartment injured with no way out. Both were in grave danger and might have not made it had her brother Timothy not gone on a mission to find them. Her father has a head injury and broken arm but both will heal. When he is discharged from hospital she, Angela and Teddy decide to be his doctor and nurses until he is better.

In the 2022 Christmas special May goes to Nonnatus House and watches TV with Angela, Colette and Nancy in Nancy's room. After that she sings Frosty the snowman at a talent show with Angela, Teddy and sunday school friend Susan Mullucks dressed as snowmen. In Series 12 May attends dancing lessons with Angela and Colette, when stopping at Nonntus House after a lesson she reunites with Sister Veronica who cared for her as a baby in Hong Kong, though May couldn't understand the nun when she tried to talk in Chinese. When her dancing teacher Nadine is rushed into hospital her mother Shelagh takes charge on the maypole dance. The maternity home faces a gastroenteritis outbreak and Shelagh ends up bringing the infection home to May and her siblings. The Turner Rabbit Genevieve dies suddenly, but during her own cowboys and Indians themed birthday party their father brings them another rabbit. Angela, May and Teddy are disappointed not to go to Trixie Franklins wedding but they do go to the reception outside Nonnatus House after the hotel the original reception was meant to take place in burned down.

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