Remembering Dr Beaver
We are very sad to share with all of our supporters that Dr Richard Beaver, a key figure in the vision and establishment of Saint Francis Hospice, died at Queen's Hospital on 23rd July 2018.
Dr Beaver - known widely as Richard, or Dickie - trained to be a Consultant in Public Health and lived and worked locally. He cared passionately about access to specialist palliative care, good symptom control and holistic care for anyone with advanced, progressive life limiting illness and became an early visionary, supporter and member of the medical sub-committee during the planning stages of Saint Francis Hospice. Richard was a founder member of the Hospice Board of Trustees, becoming Chairman in 1980, and when the hospice opened he greeted the first patient through our doors.
As well as his huge strategic contribution, he also volunteered as a medical doctor for many years to enable the very small medical team to function 24 hours a day, seven days a week until a more solid medical team was established. He was a regular presence and support, always on hand and always available, until a severe stroke in 2003 left him unable to continue. However he remained involved, interested and supportive right up until his death, sadly dying on our Hospice birthday, 34 years after he had welcomed our first patient.
His funeral was held locally last week. Alongside many family and friends were our Medical Director, Corinna Midgley, who worked alongside Richard from 2001, and Gill Wendelken, our Volunteer Services Manager who had worked with Richard and other founder members from the very early days.
We will be planning a memorial event to remember, mark and give thanks for Richard's huge contribution to our hospice in the coming months and will post details on our website in good time to ensure that those who remember Richard can share with us there in tribute.
With love and appreciation of Richard's huge contribution to our care, and to Richard's family, our thoughts are with you all.