Patrick William Brighten

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 19 May 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g3234
  1. Nick O’Donovan

Patrick William Brighten was born in Zimbabwe, where his parents ran a tobacco farm, a product with which he had a lifelong association. Initially attending Cape Town University, he won a scholarship to St Thomas’ to study medicine.

After a short time working as a medical officer at a copper mine in Zimbabwe he returned to the UK to train in anaesthesia before being appointed consultant in north Devon. An independently minded and resourceful doctor who did not always do things strictly according to the book, he established and ran the first intensive care unit in North Devon. He always cared for all his patients and their carers.

When he retired to Appledore in 1998 he immersed himself in the local community; singing, acting, ceramics, philanthropy, and much more—even, shyly, starting to draw. He was loved by all who knew him.

He leaves five grandchildren; two daughters, Lisa and Julie; Mary, his former wife; and Sandy, his soulmate.


Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g3234


  • Former consultant anaesthetist North Devon District Hospital (b 1938; q St Thomas’ Hospital, London, 1965; DA, FRCA), died from bronchopneumonia complicated by heart failure on 16 January 2014.

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