Stephen Hawking′s family donates his ventilator | News | DW | 22.04.2020
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Stephen Hawking's family donates his ventilator

The Royal Papworth hospital in Cambridge received the donation from Hawking's family to fight against COVID-19. Hawking's daughter said that her father had received "brilliant" care at the hospital when he was admitted.

On Wednesday, the Royal Papworth Hospital in the city of Cambridge in the UK received a unique donation – the personal ventilator of world-renowned physicist, Stephen Hawking. Hawking's family made the donation to help the hospital fight COVID-19.

"After our father passed away, we returned all the medical equipment he used that belonged to the NHS but there were some items which he bought for himself. We are now passing them to the NHS in the hope they will help in the fight against COVID-19," said Lucy Hawking, the daughter of Stephen Hawking.

Read more: Coronavirus: How do ventilators work?

The Papworth hospital, which is renowned for heart and lung transplants, has currently doubled its critical care capacity due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The author of "A Brief History of Time" had once received medical care at the Cambridge hospital.

Lucy Hawking said that the care her father had received at the Papworth hospital was "brilliant, dedicated and compassionate." Dr. Mike Davies, clinical director for respiratory medicine at Papworth, said that the hospital was grateful to the Hawking family for donating his ventilator.

The hospital has now added Hawking's ventilator to additional machines that will be used to treat the most critical patients of COVID-19.

Read more: Beyond the myth: Bruce Allen on Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking died in 2018 after a life-long battle with a severe form of motor neuron disease. He had frequently praised Britain's taxpayer-funded National Health Service, saying that it had saved his life on several occasions.

The UK is currently facing a severe shortage of ventilators. On March 16, UK's Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, asked companies to help manufacture, design and build ventilators for the NHS to fight the novel coronavirus. As of April 8, the NHS had 10,000 ventilators.

am/rc (AFP, Reuters)

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