Tuesday, 10 July 2012


World fencing champion 2011 (70+ group)

      Carol was very much looking forward to attending our Reunion in September but sadly died suddenly on Saturday 23rd June 2012, in Santiago de Campostela in Spain. 
   She was generally acknowledged to be a bright and vivacious student although she thought of herself as a shy and retiring person in those days.  
         After qualification she decided that she wanted to train as a surgeon at a time when female Consultant Surgeons were very unusual anywhere.   Her ability and determination helped her through the early years and she selected ENT surgery as her particular speciality.    Apparently Phillip Reading was particularly supportive,  perhaps because he appreciated that she had all the appropriate qualities needed for a successful surgical career.   
        As a Consultant she was charming to her patients and warmly appreciated by the Registrars she trained.  She expected high standards both of herself and of her staff and insisted on being informed whenever any of her patients was going to be operated on day or night.   If they did not, she firmly reminded them which name was posted over the patient's bed and who therefore held ultimate responsibility.    She herself worked hard and would not tolerate a waiting list.   This refusal to allow a waiting list to delay the treatment of her patients must have put her at odds with those Consultants whose private practices benefitted from long NHS waiting lists.      Eventually she tired of discord with her fellow ENT Consultants and she left South East London and moved to Hull where she carried a very high clinical load.
              Carol wanted to do something active outside of medicine and she began to develop an interest in the sport of fencing which her son David then aged about 14-15 was already practising.   Typical of Carol she worked hard at it and soon was beginning to win in the veterans classes (over 40 yrs) which encouraged her even further.   In the eleven years since retirement she won a variety of British, European and World titles.   Her medals are proudly displayed in her home in Derbyshire.
             Carol was however carrying the burden of  serious ill-health which she did her best to ignore.    She knew that she might die suddenly in competition but felt that would be preferable to an unedifying decline and decided to continue with the sport she loved.  
             In International competitions she fenced for Wales and was doing just that in Spain recently.   She had fenced in the morning and had enjoyed it.   In the afternoon while on the piste with sword in hand she collapsed very suddenly and despite long continued efforts could not be resuscitated .  
            The very many warm  tributes from the fencing community stand testament to the high regard she was held in.    Tributes were also received from those she had trained as registrars, from  ex-patients, friends and family.   The common theme was  “a lovely lady” .

Carol, so sad that you cannot be with us on Sept 15th,  but so typical of you to go down fighting!                                    
                                                                                (compiled by David Turner)

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