Obituary: Professor Christopher Wastell
8 May 2012
Professor Christopher Wastell, who held a Chair of Surgery at Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School, died on 18 January 2012. Julia Anderson (Surgery and Cancer) shares her memories of her colleague:
“Professor Wastell was born on 13 October 1932. He qualified from Guy’s Hospital and was appointed to the Chair in Surgery at Westminster when the first Professor of Surgery at Westminster Medical School, Harold Ellis retired in 1989. He had already held a personal chair conferred by Westminster Medical School, since 1981.
Chris was an outstanding gastrointestinal surgeon. He built the Academic Surgical Unit at Chelsea and Westminster, securing charity and industrial funding to support it. He was an excellent teacher – to undergraduates and postgraduates – many Doctor of Medicine (MD) and Master of Surgery (MS) students owed their subsequent careers to Chris.
Chris was proud of his alma mater but was very much a ‘Westminster man’, a great supporter of the hospital (both Westminster and subsequently Chelsea and Westminster), continuing after retirement in 1997. He remained a member of the committee of the 25-Year Club until his death.
He was avidly interested in sailing and supported the Student’s Sailing club for many years; in retirement he sailed the Atlantic and continued sailing after suffering a stroke from which he made a determined and remarkable recovery.
Chris was a keen gardener with a large garden and a beautiful lawn, the envy of many of his colleagues, and an allotment producing wonderful vegetables – flowers weren’t his thing but this was made up for by his wife, Margaret!
Chris continued to support the Royal College of Surgeons in retirement – he worked in the museum and provided support to junior surgeons having career difficulties.
He leaves his wife, Margaret and their three children – Giles, Jackie and Viv – and five grandchildren.
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