Posted on Tuesday 4 January 2022
Professor Shakeel Qureshi and Vanda Fairchild
Two members of staff from Guy’s and St Thomas’ have been recognised in the New Year Honours list.
Professor Shakeel Qureshi, from Purley in south east London, was made a Knight Bachelor for his services to paediatric cardiology and charity.
Professor Qureshi is a globally respected consultant paediatric cardiologist at Evelina London Children’s Hospital, which is part of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.
He joined the Trust in 1988 and, frustrated by the lack of appropriate specialist equipment for operating on children with congenital heart defects, he co-invented the Tyshak balloon catheter which is now used worldwide. It allows many children and adults to have their heart defect treated without open heart surgery.
In 2013, he came up with the paravalvar leak device and has been at the forefront of using and evaluating new valves, which allow specialist doctors to treat leaky valves. He has also organised teaching and educational conferences for paediatric cardiologists worldwide for more than 20 years.
Professor Qureshi is Chairman of 4 Peace of Mind, a charity that is committed to raising and delivering aid to the worst hit communities affected by natural disasters. He also works pro bono and is Chairman of the Medical Board for the charity Chain of Hope, operating on sick children both in the UK and abroad, and training teams of doctors in less developed countries.
Professor Qureshi, who has four children and nine grandchildren, said: “When I got the email I read it several times before I responded because I thought it was a scam. It was a shock and I still haven’t got over it. To have somebody appreciate your work, values and contributions is an amazing feeling, especially when I look back at where I started. My parents moved from Pakistan to the UK in the 60s and it is their hard work and sacrifices and my specialty that got me here.”
Vanda Fairchild, from Horsforth in Leeds, was made an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for her services to the NHS and to women’s martial arts. She retired from Guy’s and St Thomas’ earlier this year having been a nurse for 37 years.
Vanda spent the last 18 years working in the Trust’s transplant, renal and urology team. She became a clinical nurse specialist in 2013, and has supported young kidney patients and their families through the transition from paediatric services to adult kidney care.
Vanda said: “The nomination came as a complete surprise. When I opened the letter I laughed out loud and then burst into tears. I felt overwhelmed that someone had taken the time to nominate me. I accept the award for myself and on behalf of all the nurses who have given so much of themselves to their roles in the NHS.”
Over the last 40 years Vanda has been a keen amateur sports woman practicing Tomiki Aikido. Until her departure from Grove Park in south east London to Horsforth, she ran a successful aikido club in Rotherhithe teaching children and adults of all ages and abilities.