Graham Smith was diagnosed with bronchiectasis at the tender age of 5 years old and was told there was no cure. Professor Pilcher, a lung surgeon at UCH, wanted to help Graham and, even though he had never operated on a child before, was willing to try and remove the diseased lobes. At aged 7, the first lower lobe was removed, and a year later, the other lower lobe was removed. The surgery worked. Professor Pilcher saw Graham every year until he retired.
Graham was fine for years, playing golf and tennis. However, his chest infections increased with age, he had pneumonia twice and he was told that cells from the original disease had returned. Graham sadly passed away on 13th February 2011, aged 74 years.
Graham had told his wife, Rosemary, that he would like to leave money to respiratory research at UCH as he was always grateful that Professor Pilcher’s research gave him a wonderful life and a family to love.
As a fitting tribute to Graham, Rosemary and her family and friends organised a wonderful day of golf on Thursday, 24th May 2012, on Graham’s birthday.
Over 50 golfers attended the day and a further 20 came to support them and join in the prize-giving buffet afterwards. Mini-fundraising events during the day included a putting competition, a sweepstake on the winning score, a raffle and an auction.
To top all this, Graham had been an avid Arsenal supporter since 1947 and they were lucky to have the former Arsenal goalkeeper and broadcaster, Bob Wilson, playing golf alongside Graham’s friends and family.
Dr Jeremy Brown from Breathing Matters came along to present the prizes to the winners.
Rosemary and her family raised a massive £1743 on the day, which raises their total fundraising for Breathing Matters throughout the last year to over £3000!
Dr Brown says, “We are delighted that this money will help us begin to look at gene activity in patients with different types of bronchiectasis; this will help identify markers for patients with poorly controlled disease and for some of the specific causes of bronchiectasis.”.
Breathing Matters would like to send a massive thank you to Rosemary and family for organising such an amazing, worthwhile day, and to everyone who came along to play golf in memory of Graham.