Simon Newell, who died suddenly last year at the age of 59, was a leading Consultant Neonatologist who put families at the heart of his practice and, through his research and work in training and educating doctors, changed the way the most vulnerable babies are cared for.
Simon knew from the outset that he wanted to be a paediatrician and during registrar training in Birmingham in the 1980s he received a grant to look into the possible association between reflux and apnoeas in premature babies.
Simon’s later work at the Leeds General Infirmary NICU, made a profound difference to families across Yorkshire. He set the qualifying exam for new paediatricians, published textbooks and held influential positions in the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. He also had a passion for training junior doctors and an emphasis on communication skills.
Simon’s colleague, Lawrence Miall, said: “Simon was a passionate teacher, educating the next generation of neonatal doctors and nurses. He had a particular skill in supporting parents during stressful times - he was wise and knowledgeable but also a skilled communicator who saw his patients as important human beings within the family. This was highly valued by parents.”
Part of the team that saved our son's life when he was born 14 weeks early. Dr Newell always managed to make even the really tough days bearable.
Messages from families whose babies he had cared for, showed the compassion and kindness he brought to his work, which inspired and educated colleagues and is part of Simon’s far-reaching legacy in the field of neonatology.
We are honoured to be chosen as the beneficiary of funds raised in Dr Newell’s name.
Simon’s wife Debra and three children have chosen to support Bliss by fundraising in his memory. The Dr Simon Newell Fund has raised nearly £11,000 and Simon’s daughter Penny will also run the London Marathon 2017 to raise a further £2,500.
“My Dad was an intelligent role model who I looked up to, and a caring person who took care over his career. One of my most recent (and final) memories of him is going running together through the local farming fields near our home. He was a good runner and inspired his family to keep fit and active. Running the London Marathon for Bliss is a perfect way to remember and continue his contribution to babies’ health.”
To suppory Penny visit rememberingsimonnewell.com