Hundreds attend community memorial for much-missed Shefford GP Dr Shiv Sekaran
- Credit: Archant
Hundreds of people came together at the weekend to celebrate much-missed Shefford GP Dr Shiv Sekaran, and raise funds and awareness for the disease that tragically took his life.
Dr Sekaran, a GP at Dr Cakebread and Partners’ Shefford Health Centre who also worked out of hours for MDOC in Biggleswade, died on March 11 aged just 48 – following the very rapid onset of sepsis.
A private funeral was held on April 3, and on Sunday his wife Melissa – together with daughters Lizzie and Emily – held a memorial day for the wider community at Shefford Sports Club.
A memorial service was held with speeches from Dr Sekaran’s family and his Shefford colleague and friend Dr Michael Baxter, as a huge swathe of well-wishers looked on.
Melissa, who released doves from a cage during the service, paid heartfelt tribute to her husband – who she described as a perfect gentleman and her “knight in shining armour”, who every morning brought her tea and told her she was beautiful.
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She also stressed the pride he had always shown in their two daughters, despite their not being his biological children – and the role he had played since their teens in helping them grow into well-rounded young women.
Emily told how her dad had loved her rendition of the Adele song Someone Like You, and – explaining that she felt too emotional to sing it live – played her own recording of the ballad over the sound system.
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Dr Baxter recounted how on first coming to Shefford for his job interview, Dr Sekaran turned up 12 hours early, at 7am rather than 7pm – but cheerfully agreed to come back that evening.
He said: “He didn’t know that we had already decided to give him the job – knowing that if he could laugh at himself, he would make a good colleague.”
He told how Dr Sekaran had done the work of three doctors, and over the years personalised his office with keepsakes from his many overseas travels, exotic plants and an aquarium containing fish named Winston and Clementine – after the wartime prime minister and his wife.
Dr Sekaran’s family then presented a cheque for £23,096.52 – the proceeds so far of the remarkable fundraising in his memory – to the UK Sepsis Trust.
A fundraising fair was held for the rest of the day, with auctions, raffle prizes and much more in aid of the charity.
Speaking to the Comet after the service, Melissa stressed the importance of knowing the symptoms of sepsis – and that the awareness raised following Dr Sekaran’s death had already saved the lives of at least two other people.
She said: “This response is incredible. What makes me really proud is that everyone is here purely for Shiv. But he would have wondered what all the fuss was about – he would have said he was just doing his job.
“To see the community all together like this when there’s so many awful things going on in the world is amazing. That they are all here to remember him shows just what he meant.”
She added: “I never had an understanding of sepsis before this. I’ve subsequently found out that when it’s you yourself, you can’t self-diagnose.
“By the time you’d realise what’s happening, it impairs your brain function – so even if you have the knowledge, it’s the people around you that have to be aware of the symptoms.
“A two-year-old boy and a middle-aged man are still here because of Shiv – and that’s just the ones we know about.
“What we’re trying to do now is to carry on his job of saving lives and working for the less fortunate.”
To make a donation to the UK Sepsis Trust in memory of Dr Sekaran, see justgiving.com/DrShivSekaran.
For more about sepsis and the UK Sepsis Trust, see sepsistrust.org.