Family remembers pioneering doctor

Dr Eric Sherwood-Jones
Dr Eric Sherwood-Jones
Share this article

A DOCTOR who helped transform Whiston Hospital into a pioneering centre for intensive care has lost his own battle for life.

Dr Eric Sherwood-Jones, 90, passed away 18 years after he was diagnosed with the rare incurable bug Wegener’s granuloma.

Poignantly, his family have now released a moving obituary which was penned by the man himself following his diagnosis in 1994.

His son, Brian, said: “My father was always very energetic and enthusiastic, with a great sense of humour. He would pick up on popular themes and make something of them. Doctor Who was one - he often did ward rounds with a Doctor Who scarf!

“And, as a father, he was positive and supportive. He had high standards but wasn’t authoritarian - he just led by example. He was a great teacher too. We learned lots without ‘being taught’.”

Dr Sherwood-Jones was appointed a physician at Whiston Hospital in 1954 and remained at the hospital until his retirement in 1986.

The huge turnover of patients and minimal administrative obstruction – combined with his enthusiasm and boundless energy – led to the development of one of the first intensive care units in the UK.

Among the breakthroughs achieved locally was a novel method of assessing the impact of chronic bronchitis on the heart.

A great variety of conditions were admitted – traumas, asthma, poisoning and Whiston’s results soon established a national reputation.

Ten years after his retirement, Dr Sherwood-Jones, a classical music-lover, was honoured by Whiston Hospital for his 32 years of treating critically ill patients when they named a new intensive care unit after him.

He passed away in Prescot on January 14 and is survived by his wife of 65 years, Joan, their three children, Brian, David and Iona, grandchildren, James and Georgina, and great grandchildren Lucy and Amy.

Son Brian added: “With my father, whatever you were doing would turn into something interesting. Whether it was mackerel fishing in Aberdaron, going to concerts or spending school holidays in his lab!”