Mr Brian Gardner (deceased)
It was with great sadness that the trustees of SPIRIT learned that Mr
Brian Gardner (Consultant in Spinal Cord Injury) passed away on Friday
15th November 2019 with his family around him.
Brian had been ill for some time after he was diagnosed with terminal
cancer in the autumn of 2018.
Brian was internationally respected and one of the world’s leading
experts on spinal cord injury. During his career working in the NHS, he
was a Consultant at the National Spinal Injury Centre at Stoke
Mandeville for over 30 years and held the post of Clinical Director. He
also worked very closely with ISCOS (the International Spinal Cord
Society). He travelled around the world teaching others about spinal
cord injury and he was on the organising committee for the 51st
International Spinal Cord Society Meeting held in London in September
2012 alongside the Paralympics.
Brian devoted his working career to supporting people affected by
spinal cord injury and rehabilitating people who have been paralysed as
a result of their injury.
Brian was a very kind and quietly spoken man who was always
generous with his time. His patients spoke of his very kind and caring
approach and he was very popular with all of his patients, surely
something that every consultant aspires to achieve.
During his career, Brian was incredibly supportive of the Spinal Injuries
Association and other spinal cord injury charities much of the time,
refusing any credit for his support. He was very passionate about
supporting the work of SIA and he could see first hand the impact of
SIA’s service delivery; through his work as a consultant in spinal cord
injury and on his patients and their families.
Brian’s contribution to the work of SIA was immense and he was
somebody who undoubtedly dedicated themselves to the care and
support of others and was a leader in their field for many years. There
are many people living with spinal cord injury in the UK and who owe a
great deal of gratitude to Brian.
Brian also led many UK and international research projects on the
impact of spinal cord injury and it is thanks to the research he did that
we now have a better understanding of spinal cord injury and we have
people injured in this way living more fulfilling and longer lives.
In recognition of his contribution to the international teaching of spinal
cord injury Brian was awarded the medal of honour from the
International Spinal Cord Society in October 2019. He was presented
with his medal at home and shortly before he passed away by his friend
and colleague, Wagih El-Masri to mark his contribution & achievements
in the field of SCI.
As well as his work at Stoke Mandeville and his support of the SIA,
Brian was a dedicated family man with a strong Catholic faith. He made
a significant contribution to his local Catholic community and their work.
A service in memory of Brian and his lifetime achievements will be held
at Stoke Mandeville SCIC later in December.
Brian is survived by his wife, Stephanie and his grown up family and all
of us at SPIRIT send our deepest condolences to them at this time.