Professor retires after 27 years dedicated to Notts children’s cancer service

Professor David Walker Nottingham University Hospital
Professor David Walker Nottingham University Hospital

A consultant who has dedicated the last 27 years of his life to helping children and young people with cancer is to retire.

Professor David Walker has pioneered research into the disease within children’s services at Nottingham University Hospitals, as well as supporting hundreds of patients and their families.

Pam White, whose son Sam was treated by Professor Walker for a brain tumour before his death in September 2013, praised him for his clinical care and the support he gave the entire family.

She said: “We first met David the day after Sam was admitted to intensive care.

“Our heads were in a whirlwind of shock, fear and disbelief at what was unfolding before us.

“David was calm and factual - he gave us confidence whilst being open and honest about the situation.

“Sam became well enough to drive his own treatment and be a major voice in discussions about his care.

“David encouraged him to go out and enjoy life and put cancer on the back seat. He did, and actually enjoyed life to the full.

“When the time came that Sam could no longer overcome the ravages of the cancer treatments, again David was there to support us all and make a most difficult and harrowing time bearable for the three of us. Sam’s confidence in him came through.

“We feel very privileged to have met David and have him as part of our lives.”

Professor Walker said: “My role in children’s cancer has been particularly rewarding.

“We have developed the service from one led by a single consultant to an integrated centre leading the service across the region, as well as being an international research centre for childhood brain tumours.“

Professor Walker qualified from the University of Nottingham in 1977.

He said: “As I progressed through my basic training in medicine and haematology, I met remarkable leaders and I encountered children’s care. I was so excited by the opportunity to help children and their families with serious health problems.”

All proceeds from Professor Walker’s retirement event will go towards Nottingham Hospitals Charity’s Big Appeal.

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