A pioneering surgeon at a Birmingham hospital, whose work is now used in Afghanistan to save soldiers’ lives, has died aged 72.
Hugoe Matthews was a consultant surgeon at the former East Birmingham Hospital, which is now Birmingham Heartlands, from 1976 and specialised in diseases of the oesophagus.
He developed the mini-tracheostomy, a life-saving device that clears the lungs during chest surgery. It is now used on the battlefield.
Originally from Surrey, Mr Matthews also established a referral centre for the whole of the West Midlands and cut death rates from oesophagal cancer by giving patients chemotherapy before operating.
In 1984, the father-of-two set up the Oesophagal Cancer Research Appeal and also went on to help found the British Oesophagal Group as well as an Oesophagal Patients’ Association.
But he also set up an Escapists’ Dinner Club for medics who wanted a break from talking about their jobs, banning any talk about work and allowing guests to wax lyrical about their hobbies.
Outside of his job, Mr Matthews was an authority on the writer Richard Jefferies, and was the president of the Richard Jefferies Society.
In 1993, he and George Miller published a bibliography of Mr Jefferies’s work.
He served as president of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons in 1995. Mr Matthews left his wife, Judy Thain and their son and daughter.