Stephen Hawking’s family has donated the famed physicist’s ventilator to a hospital in Cambridge to help treat coronavirus patients, according to a report.
Hawking’s daughter Lucy said the Royal Papworth Hospital was “incredibly important” to her father, who had often been treated there before dying of motor neurone disease in 2018 at the age of 76, the Standard reported.
She said Hawking received “brilliant, dedicated and compassionate” care both at Royal Papworth and Addenbrooke’s hospitals in Cambridge.
“As a ventilated patient, Royal Papworth was incredibly important to my father and helped him through some very difficult times,” Lucy said.
“We realized that it would be at the forefront of the COVID-19 epidemic and got in touch with some of our old friends there to ask if we could help,” she said.
Lucy added that after her father died, the family returned all the medical equipment that belonged to the National Health Service but they still had some items he bought for himself.
“We are now passing them to the NHS in the hope they will help in the fight against COVID-19,” she said. “At this time, we would ask that everyone supports NHS staff in every way possible. We would urge people to take social distancing seriously. We all need to do our bit, whatever that may be.”
The Royal Papworth Hospital expanded its critical care department to more than double its size amid the mounting number of coronavirus admissions.
“It was lovely to hear from the Hawking family again and we are so grateful for them for donating this equipment,” said Dr. Mike Davies, the hospital’s clinical director for respiratory medicine.
“We are now extremely busy caring for patients who are critically ill with COVID-19 and the support we are receiving from patients, their families and the local community means a great deal,” he added.
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