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Sheila Lewis

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 24 March 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g2322
  1. Paula Midgley

Sheila Lewis was brought up in Cardiganshire and the Rhondda Valley, and, although higher education and her medical career took her to England, she always loved Wales and her Welsh heritage. Her father, Reverend Henry Lewis, was from Swansea Valley and her mother, May Waters, from south Pembrokeshire. They met as students in Bangor, where her mother studied English. Sheila was an only child, starting life in the parish of Llangorwen, then moving to Rhondda, when her father became vicar of Ton Pentre.

Sheila went to St Barndon’s Clergy Daughter’s School in Bristol. A school friend tells of her powerful and persuasive campaign as a lone Labour candidate in a mock election at what was a rather conservative school in the 1940s. She remained a member of the Labour party until her death.

Sheila’s mother died when Sheila was 15 and her father when she was 18 and a student at King’s College Hospital Medical School. She forged close and lasting friendships at that time, and a talent for friendship remained one of Sheila’s lifelong attributes. Soon after graduating she became committed to paediatrics, with early posts at King’s College Hospital, the Belgrave Children’s Hospital, the Whittington Hospital, Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Hackney, and the South London Hospital for Women and Children.

She went on to do research in neonatal respiration at the London Hospital …

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