Tributes paid to leading heart doctor who died in cycle accident

Dr George Ballard
Dr George Ballard
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TRIBUTES have been pouring in to a “lovely, funny and brilliant” doctor from a Leeds hospital, who was killed in a bike accident at the weekend.

Dr George Ballard died after plunging 15 metres into a stream at one of Yorkshire’s most notorious accident blackspots.

The 41-year-old consultant cardiologist was cycling in the Yorkshire Dales on Sunday morning when his bike hit Dibbles Bridge and threw him over the parapet into the stream below.

His colleagues at Leeds General Infirmary said Dr Ballard would be remembered “for his extraordinary professional talent, sense of humour and unfailing commitment to his patients.”

Patients also left dozens of tributes on the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund (CHSF) page on the social networking site Facebook to a “wonderful” doctor and a “lovely man (who) said it as it was and always explained things in a way that us non medical people could understand.”

One of them commented: “He was such a knowledgeable, approachable guy with such a lovely patient manner. We left our first adult congenital cardiology meeting with George feeling informed and very happy.”

In a statement Dr Yvette Oade, Chief Medical Officer for Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said: “George’s tragic and untimely death has deeply shocked his friends and colleagues at our hospitals. He was an outstanding doctor with a quick sense of humour, who will be sorely missed by staff, patients and families across Leeds and the wider region.

“Our thoughts and sympathies are very much with George’s family at this sad time. We will all miss a very special friend and colleague.”

Sunday’s accident on the B6265 road came a year after another cyclist, James Nelson, 32, from Skipton, died at the same spot. His body was found next to the stream under the bridge. People have been invited to send messages of condolence to the CHSF office, B Floor, Brotherton Wing, LGI, LS1 3EX or electronically to info@chsf.org.uk.

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