GLOWING tributes have been paid to a former hospital consultant who devoted his life to saving the lives of premature babies on Wearside.
Dr Sam Richmond, who retired in 2011, died earlier this month after suffering from bowel cancer, aged 62.
Well-liked and well-respected, Dr Richmond was appointed as a consultant in neonatology at Sunderland Royal Hospital in 1988.
During his 23 years in the post, he cared for some of the most premature and sick infants in the city on a daily basis.
Consultant paediatrician and director of children’s services at Sunderland Royal, Geoff Lawson, paid tribute to Dr Richmond, hailing him as “fantastic”.
“Academically, he did incredibly detailed work into cerebral palsy,” said Dr Lawson, who first met Dr Richmond in 1979 and had worked with him at the Royal since 1991.
“He had all of the qualities which we admire. His genial affability must have been a joy to all of those who worked with him.
“He was totally devoted to the job and neonatal care.”
During holidays, Dr Richmond would often travel to Palestine and Bangladesh to help teach newborn life support and advanced neonatal care.
He also created and established a Neonatal Life Support course for junior doctors in the North East to learn the essential skills of resuscitation before they began work.
Dr Richmond was then involved in the production of the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation guidelines, and his growing reputation in his field of work meant his advice was often sought on national neonatal issues.
Following retirement, Dr Richmond married his partner Liz in January this year. But he died in early March, leaving staff, patients and their families mourning his death. “I couldn’t do what Sam did,” added Dr Lawson. “I couldn’t have shared my time as well as he did because he just devoted himself to kids that were in his care. He was a marvellous man.”
Dr Richmond is survived by Liz and his three sisters, Sophie, Emma and Sally.
His funeral takes place at Sunderland Crematorium tomorrow at 3.30pm.