Professor Stephen Hawking's family donates ventilator to Royal Papworth Hospital to help NHS care for coronavirus patients
The family of the late Professor Stephen Hawking have offered their support to the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic by donating their father’s ventilator to Royal Papworth Hospital.
Prof Hawking, who died two years ago, was a ventilated patient who received invaluable care from both Royal Papworth and Addenbrooke’s hospitals during his life.
As Royal Papworth cares for increasing numbers of patients with Covid-19, the hospital has expanded its critical care department to more than double its usual size.
It has received additional supplies of ventilators from the NHS, and has now added the ventilator donated by the Hawking family to its fleet, after a check by the hospitals’ clinical engineering team.
Prof Hawking’s daughter Lucy said: “Our father received brilliant, dedicated and compassionate medical care from both Royal Papworth and Addenbrooke’s 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.
“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. We are now passing them to the NHS in the hope they will help in the fight against Covid-19.”
She added: “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.”
Dr Mike Davies, clinical director for respiratory medicine at Royal Papworth Hospital, said: “It was lovely to hear from the Hawking family again and we are so grateful for 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.”