A selfless former Manor Hospital patient who vowed to help others following his death has honoured his pledge – with friends and family handing over £130,000 to benefit those who use Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust services.
Mr Bhagabhai Lallubhai Patel died in August 2021 and had expressed his wish that the net proceeds of the sale of his and his late wife Sitaben’s home, were used to make a difference to local communities.
The 92-year-old had been a strong supporter of the Trust, making a £15,000 donation in memory of his wife a few years ago which was used to purchase six High Flow Nasal Therapy machines. These are used to reduce the need for intubation and ventilation and therefore avoid Intensive Care admission. The machines helped to save many lives during the COVID-19 pandemic and have made a huge difference to patients being treated quickly.
When he came into hospital to make that donation he said: “I have no immediate family but it’s important for me to do something that will help others and I’m pleased to be able to help people in the Walsall community.”
He also spoke passionately about wanting to continue to help others following his own death.
“I like the idea of my legacy making a positive difference to patients in need. There must be other people in my situation and I hope that they might want to do the same thing,” he said.
His family has been in regular contact with Georgie Westley, Fundraising Manager at Walsall Healthcare, following their loved one’s death and recently visited to present the £130,000 from the house sale proceeds. Paul Assinder, Chair of Walsall Healthcare’s Charitable Funds Committee and Russell Caldicott, Chief Financial Officer and Trustee, met with Mr Patel’s family and friends.
The family said: “Mr Patel was the sort of person who always put others first – and if he said he was going to do something, he did! He never wavered from his wishes and he was determined that he would do something for other people who use the Manor Hospital, hence his legacy.
“This gesture also shows how important it is for families and friends to know their loved one’s wishes so they can be carried out appropriately in their memory.
“Speaking about death can, of course, be difficult but it needn’t overshadow the living person. Mr Patel was a kind, bubbly person with a terrific sense of humour and a firm resolution and that is how we will always remember him.”
Mr Assinder said: “While I didn’t personally meet Mr Patel I know how important this legacy was to him and we are extremely grateful for his thoughtful gesture.
“Listening to the fond memories that his loved ones have of him he was clearly a remarkable gentleman and his selflessness towards others will certainly make a difference to patients who use our services. We are going to work with our teams to see which areas this legacy can make the most difference in and get together again so that a decision can be made for its most fitting use. We would also like to reiterate our condolences to all those who knew and loved Mr Patel.”