The family of a much-loved Leeds hospital doctor who died in a cycling accident in North Yorkshire say he will be “desperately missed” as tributes continue to pour in from colleagues and patients.
Consultant cardiologist George Ballard, 41, who worked at Leeds General Infirmary, died when he fell 15 metres into a stream after being thrown from his bike when he hit Dibbles Bridge, near Richmond, on Sunday.
In a statement, his wife Juliet and other family members thanked his friends, colleagues and patients for their support since his death, as well as the emergency services staff who went to his aid after the accident.
The family said they had been “overwhelmed” by messages of support.
Their statement added: “Their kind comments have reflected his positive attitude, caring nature and strong sense of professionalism working as a doctor.
“George was a wonderful husband and father. He touched the lives of so many in both his family and professional lives. He had an adventurous spirit and boundless enthusiasm for life and people.
“He will be desperately missed by us all, but his energy and vitality will remain with us always.”
Dr Ballard was on the B6265 between Pateley Bridge and Grassington when he hit the bridge paprapet on Sunday. Around 15 members of the local Fell Rescue team and the air ambulance went to the scene but were unable to save him.
Since his death, countless tributes have been paid to Dr Ballard, who lived in Ben Rhydding, near Ilkley, and who leaves two children.
Dr Yvette Oade, chief medical officer for Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, described him as “an outstanding doctor with a quick sense of humour, who will be sorely missed”
Among the many eulogies left on social networking sites, Rebecca McCulloch, on Facebook, described him as “the most genuine, honest, downright funny cardiologist I have ever met”.