Professor Stephen Hawking’s family donates his ventilator to Cambridge hospital

The Hawking family have donated Stephen Hawking’s personal ventilator to the Royal Papworth Hospital

Stephen Hawking was the director of research at the University’s Centre for Theoretical Cosmology until his death in 2018. Hawking received treatment for motor neurone disease at both Addenbrookes and the Royal Papworth Hospital, and in thanks for the care he received, described by his daughter Lucy as “brilliant, dedicated and compassionate,” his family have donated his own medical equipment to the Royal Papworth Hospital, where Hawking received ventilation.

The (New) Royal Papworth Hospital, Cambridge – Photo credit Adrian Cable, Creative Commons License

Lucy Hawking emphasised that the hospital was “incredibly important’ to her father, and as a result of this his family decided to donate the ventilator, bought by Professor Hawking, to the hospital in the hope that it would “help the NHS in the fight against COVID-19.”

Dr Mike Davies, clinical director for respiratory medicine at Papworth, stated that “it was lovely to hear from the Hawking family again” and that hospital staff are “so grateful” to the family for the donation of the equipment.

The Royal Papworth Hospital’s critical care unit has been expanded to more than double its original size due to the increasing number of coronavirus admissions.

The Hawking family’s donated ventilator is an addition to supplies of ventilators the hospital is receiving from the NHS.

Dr Davies added that the hospital is now “extremely busy caring for patients who are critically ill with COVID-19” and that the support the hospital is receiving from patients, their families and the local community “means a great deal.”


Cover image credit: Doug Wheller, Creative Commons License