“We would urge people to take social distancing seriously. We all need to do our bit.”
Rabat – The family of the late British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking has donated his ventilator to a hospital in Cambridge as a contribution to the fight against the novel coronavirus.
The Hawkings donated the machine to the Royal Papworth Hospital in Cambridge, where the renowned scientist received medical treatments before his death at the age of 76 in March 2018. “As a ventilated patient, Royal Papworth was incredibly important to my father and helped him through some very difficult times,” his daughter, Lucy Hawking, said.
“We realised that [Royal Papworth Hospital] would be at the forefront of the COVID-19 epidemic and got in touch with some of our old friends there to ask if we could help,” she added.
In addition to the ventilator, the British family also donated some other medical items that the professor purchased for himself, hoping they would help the healthcare system to treat coronavirus patients.
With the UK’s rising number of COVID-19 cases, which can cause serious respiratory complications, Clinical Director for Respiratory Medicine at Royal Papworth Hospital Dr. Mike Davies said, “It was lovely to hear from the Hawking family again and we are so grateful for them for donating this equipment.”
The UK has recorded 138,078 COVID-19 cases to date, with 18,738 fatalities.
“As a family, the NHS has always played a huge part in our lives,” Lucy explained. The family “would ask that everyone supports NHS staff in every way possible. We would urge people to take social distancing seriously. We all need to do our bit,” she stressed.
In 1963, Hawking was diagnosed with an early-onset and slow-progressing form of motor neurone disease. The ailment, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, gradually paralyzed his body over the years.
Forever pushing the bounds of his fascination with the nature of space and time, relativity, and quantum theory, Hawking’s groundbreaking work aimed to give the world new insights into the creation of the universe.
“My goal is simple, it is complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all,” he once said.