David Robert BirdBMJ 2003; 326 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.326.7380.107/d (Published 11 January 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:107
Former consultant general and vascular surgeon Pembrokeshire and Derwen NHS Trust, Wales (b Stoke on Trent 1947; q King's College, Cambridge/St Thomas's Hospital, London, 1973; MA, MS, FRCS), died from Ewing's sarcoma on 1 February 2002.
Former consultant microbiologist Pembrokeshire and Derwen NHS Trust, Wales (b West Midlands 1954; q Birmingham 1977; FRCPath), died by her own hand on 14 May 2002.
Ann Christina Bushell
David and Annie were an inseparable, talented, and tragic couple. David was briefly married while an undergraduate, but was unable to cope with the demands of the curriculum and early fatherhood. Ann worked in Exeter and Bristol before demonstrating excellence in microbiology, taking up her first consultant post at the age of 30.
David and Annie married in 1979, and chose to move from highly prestigious posts in Edinburgh to rural Pembrokeshire. Here they bought a smallholding, where they cared for sheep, donkeys, and the occasional Shire horse. David indulged his passion for rally car racing and they both became founder members and performers in the Preseli orchestra.
Professionally, they were both perfectionists. They became increasingly frustrated and disillusioned by the inadequacies of the NHS. Both retired prematurely with stress related illness, and were just emerging from the depths of depression when David developed foot drop, later shown to be caused by an unusual sarcoma. Following desperate times through chemotherapy and radiotherapy, their resilience failed. Annie refused to be separated from David by death. David leaves two daughters from his first marriage.