“The ESNEFT team have been absolutely faultless”

A grateful patient has praised the “heroes” at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) for the compassion and kindness they have shown during his treatment for cancer.

George Paul was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in August 2019. But the 82-year-old hasn’t let the illness stop him, and still plays golf regularly, swims and rides his horse – and was also able to enjoy the perfect day out in May when he visited Buckingham Palace to receive an MBE for services to horseracing heritage.

Now Mr Paul, who lives in Wherstead with wife Maggie, has thanked the oncology team at Ipswich Hospital for the “faultless” care they have provided.

He said: “The team at Ipswich have been brilliant. All of the staff are compassionate, caring, cheerful and friendly. I can’t speak more highly of them – they have been absolutely faultless.

“I have treatment every fortnight and do experience some side effects, but the great thing is I am still able to do most things. I started playing golf when I was 78 and find it great fun, and still get on my horse from time to time, although getting off is trickier now that I’m older!

“Being diagnosed with a serious illness changes your perspective on life. It has made me look forward to every day and spend my time doing the things I enjoy.”

Mr Paul, who is past chairman of Jockey Club Estates, received his MBE in recognition of the pivotal role he played in the Palace House restoration project in Newmarket.

It was presented by the Duke of Cambridge, who told Mr Paul how much his grandmother had enjoyed visiting the estate to officially open it in 2016.

“When I received the letter from Buckingham Palace it was the last thing I expected,” added Mr Paul. “I always say my MBE was unexpected and undeserved, but nevertheless extremely welcome.

“The whole experience of receiving the award from Prince William was fantastic and I was so pleased to hear how much the Queen enjoyed her visit. I’ve been lucky enough to have a life full of great days, and that was certainly one of them.

“But I am not a hero for the work I did in horseracing – that title goes to the NHS staff who are extremely competent and always cheerful and enthusiastic. I also see the care they show to those who are just starting their treatment; that kindness makes a big difference when you are anxious and don’t know what to expect.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to them for everything.”

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