Cambridgeshire Live - New United Kingdom
Stay up to date with the latest news from around Cambridgeshire including breaking news updates, sport, football, local events and business.
Stephen Hawking's ventilator donated to Royal Papworth Hospital to cope with coronavirus demand - Cambridge News
His family said that the leading heart and lung hospital was incredibly important to the theoretical physicist
Stephen Hawkings family have donated his ventilator to a hospital to help cope with the influx of coronavirus patients. The family of the late University of Cambridge theoretical physicist have donated their fathers ventilator to Royal Papworth Hospital as it cares for increasing numbers of patients with Covid-19. With increasing numbers of patients being hospitalised with the virus, which can cause severe respiratory problems, the hospital has expanded its critical care department to more than double its usual size. Mr Hawkings daughter Lucy said: Our father received brilliant, dedicated and compassionate medical care from both Royal Papworth and Addenbrookes hospitals in Cambridge. As a ventilated patient, Royal Papworth was incredibly important to my father and helped him through some very difficult times. We realised that it would be at the forefront of the Covid-19 epidemic and got in touch with some of our old friends there to ask if we could help. The hospital has received additional supplies of ventilators from the NHS but has added the ventilator donated by the Hawking family to its fleet, after an inspection by the hospitals clinical engineering team. Ms Hawking added: After our father passed away, we returned all the medical equipment he used that belonged to the NHS but there were some items which he bought for himself. The Royal Papworth Hospital team with the ventilator. (Image: The Royal Papworth Hospital) We are now passing them to the NHS in the hope they will help in the fight against Covid-19. She continued: As a family, the NHS has always played a huge part in our lives. We are fully aware of the dedication and commitment of NHS staff to helping people in need. At this time, we would ask that everyone supports NHS staff in every way possible. We would urge people to take social distancing seriously. We all need to do our bit, whatever that may be. The late Stephen Hawking's ventilator. (Image: The Royal Papworth Hospital) Dr Mike Davies, the hospitals clinical director for respiratory medicine, said: It was lovely to hear from the Hawking family again and we are so grateful to them for donating this equipment. We are now extremely busy caring for patients who are critically ill with Covid-19 and the support we are receiving from patients, their families and the local community means a great deal. The heart and lung hospital, which treats around 50,000 patients each year, is a major centre for the provision of ventilator support.