A family and two communities have been left in shock after the sudden death of a popular and well-known GP.
Dr Robert Grayson (45) was a principal partner at Great Harwood Medical Group and was one of four GPs in the practice, responsible for the care of around 8,000 patients. He lived in Chatburn with his wife Kirsty, son Dominic (12), stepson Dermot (13) and stepdaughter Kiera (11). He was also father to Georgina (14).
Dr Grayson was taken ill in the early hours of Thursday morning, suffering with chest pains, and drove himself to hospital leaving his wife at home in Chatburn caring for their respective children.
After undergoing overnight tests, Dr Grayson died suddenly the following morning, with his wife by his side.
A post-mortem has revealed the cause of death to be thoracic aortic dissection – a tear in the wall of the major artery carrying blood out of the heart.
Speaking exclusively to the Clitheroe Advertiser and Times, Mrs Kirsty Grayson said: “I have lost my soulmate and confidante and I am absolutely devastated.
“Rob always put his family first, but he was also married to his patients and looked after many people through to the end of their lives. He specialised in palliative care and went above and beyond to care for people, often working weekends and evenings to make sure that patients did not have to contact an out of hours GP that they didn’t know.
“We, as his family, accepted that the care he gave to his ‘other’ family was just as important to him as we were and that was ok because that was what made Rob Rob.”
“He always said he wanted to see the world with me and we visited so many places, both as a couple and as a family, including Barcelona, Venice, Budapest, Prague, Rome, Moscow and Bucharest. He just wanted us all to have as good a time as possible.
“At home, Rob was great at DIY and he really loved his garden – no-one ever left our house without armfuls of fruit and vegetables, whatever his latest harvest was.”
The son of Hyndburn councillor Harry Grayson and his wife Carol, Dr Grayson had a brother, Chris, and was originally from Rishton. He gained his medical degree from the Queen Mary University of London in 1997, alongside working at the Medical College of St Bartholomew’s Hospital.
Also a specialist in chronic disease, he had worked at Great Harwood Medical Centre since August 2005 and, last year, oversaw the centre’s merger with Rishton High Street Surgery. The practice recently moved into a new purpose-built home in Water Street.
Practice Manager Sarah Lord said: “Rob was committed to the health and wellbeing of his patients and the local community he lived in and served. He was very highly thought of among his colleagues and patients, and his loss will be felt greatly throughout the community.
“Not only was Rob a highly experienced and hardworking doctor, his dedication to his patients was renowned and he will be sadly missed by everyone who met him or was treated by him. Our thoughts and condolences go to Rob’s family whom he loved very much.”
Facebook tributes flooded in from shocked patients and friends. One message from a patient read: “Rob you will be greatly missed by all who knew you. My thoughts and love are with family, friends, colleagues and other patients. A man who gave his all for others and cared beyond his vocation as a doctor. He made a difference. RIP xxx”
A funeral service will be held at St Bartholomew’s Church, Great Harwood, today at noon, followed by a private cremation.