Tributes have been paid to a pioneering and “compassionate” surgeon who helped change the lives of Midland youngsters.
Phil Glithero, who worked at Birmingham’s Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, died peacefully at his home in Hall Green, after a long illness aged 54.
The married dad had also worked at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, and held clinics at Heartlands and Solihull hospitals.
One tribute described him as a “highly regarded and compassionate surgeon”, who “devoted his life to caring for some of the most vulnerable children and young people”.
Darryl Noyce, who was just seven when Mr Glithero saved his leg after a road accident in 2001, said the medic had transformed his life.
Muscle in his back was used to replace tissue on his leg, with surgery carried out by Mr Glithero and a team at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
Darryl, who is now 18, was knocked down by a car near his home in Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire, but went on to study sports and exercise science at college and is considering a career in the Armed Forces.
“It’s a real shock,” he said. “I am very sad. Without Mr Glithero I may have never had a normal life. I remember him as being very caring to the point that he told me exactly what to expect. He was always there for me.
"Even after I was finally discharged he said to contact him if I ever had any questions. I wouldn’t be in the position I am today without him. I’m thinking about joining the Armed Forces and I studied sports and exercise science at college, which involved a lot of activity.”
Darryl’s mum Helen, a 43-year-old care assistant, added: “We owe Mr Glithero and the team a great deal for what they did for Darryl.
“He gave us hope when we weren’t sure how the operation would go and he was incredibly supportive. Nothing was too much trouble.
“As a mum I was apprehensive about what Darryl would be able to achieve after surgery.
“But it has been a pleasure to see what he has achieved since then, especially going on to study sports at college, which meant he was taking part in a lot of activity.
“We would like to pass our condolences to his family.”
The Orthopaedic Hospital’s medical director, Andrew Thomas, said Mr Glithero was a deeply respected member of the team, and much loved by his patients.
He added: “We are all indebted to Mr Glithero for his service to patients both at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital and the Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
“The hospitals concerned, and all of their staff, send sincere condolences to his wife Helen and his family.
“As a trainee he showed an obvious ability and dedication to his work. Phil devoted his working life to caring for young patients, many of whom had severe problems such as cerebral palsy.
“He did all he could to treat and support both the patients and their families in very difficult circumstances.
“He was as much respected for his wisdom and clinical judgement as for his ability to carry out difficult surgery.
“Phil’s colleagues, both in paediatrics and other branches of orthopaedics, would regularly turn to him for wise advice on the clinical management of patients and he was also respected for his contribution to the medical management of the two hospitals where he worked.
“The measure of his dedication to both his patients and the service was that he continued to work until very near to the end of his life.”
His funeral will take place at 9.30am on Friday (November 30) at Robin Hood Crematorium, followed by a Memorial Service at St Peter’s Church, Highfield Road, Hall Green, at 11am. All are welcome.