A very pleasant event recently was the unveiling of a plaque to name the John Fairgrieve Clinic which is the complex leg wound clinic based at Stroud General Hospital. The event was attended by John Fairgrieve’s widow, Mrs Drusilla Fairgrieve, two of his daughters, Alison and Susie as well as doctors who knew him and members of the League of Friends and hospital staff.
Dr Gordon Horner, past Chair of the League of Friends thanked and welcomed everyone and explained to all present that John Fairgrieve was the first surgeon to undertake any vascular surgery in Gloucestershire. He came to Stroud in 1967 and started up the varicose vein clinics in the hospital where he was joined by his colleague, Dr Peter Kelly.
Dr Kelly said that he had worked with John until John’s retirement. John had opened eyes to a new standard of careful, problem free vascular surgery with weekly clinics and operating lists at Stroud General Hospital.
He also added: “John was very patient and kind to patients, always having time to talk to nervous patients. He was a family man with wife, Drusilla and four daughters and also an extremely well known athlete in his youth, where he ran in relay in 1948 Olympics. When he retired he developed his interest in painting and I am pleased to have one of his paintings in my home. In all John Fairgrieve was a multi-talented man. As a vascular surgeon he was interested in varicose veins and recurrent varicose veins and their complications, of which ulceration is one. It is very fitting therefore that this complex leg wound clinic is named after him.”
Dr Roy Lamb, President of the League of Friends said: “I was very pleased when my suggestion was accepted by the Friends that this latest adaptation for leg ulcer therapy to which the League had contributed should bear his name. John was always a strong supporter of Stroud Hospital and performed a lot of major surgery here as well as his vascular work. He made a significant contribution to the planning of the Friends’ funded building of the new operating theatre opened in 1973 and I remember particularly his suggestion of fitting a very modern operating light which we learnt was, at the time, the most advanced in the South West Region. This plaque is a very good means of public recognition of a gifted and caring surgeon.”
The plaque was unveiled by Mrs Drusilla Fairgrieve who explained that she was delighted to officially open this new clinic which will now bear her late husband’s name. She said that John enjoyed Stroud Hospital with its friendly atmosphere and the feeling that it truly served the local community and she felt that the new clinic must be such an asset being able to give more time and appropriate treatment to conditions like varicose veins and ulcers which are so painful and take time to heal.
She said: “John would have been amazed and honoured to have this clinic given his name.”
Photo shows Mrs Drusilla Fairgrieve unveiling the plaque outside the John Fairgrieve Clinic