A former nurse manager at Grantham A&E has paid an emotional tribute to the first head of the department who has died aged 86.
Paul Lewis worked with Lakshmi Chakrabarti for many years in A&E and said their relationship was like that of a father and son.
Mr Chakrabarti died on Friday after being taken ill at home in Harlaxton Road, Grantham. He was taken to Lincoln Hospital but died a few hours later.
Mr Lewis said: “He was a giant of a man and I am so proud to have known him. I had so much respect for him. He was an excellent clinician and a wonderful man.
“He was so knowledgeable and passionate about his work and he did so much to set up the A&E department. He was passionate about the A&E and committed to the people of Grantham. He spent every working hour to develop the department. I spoke to him just a few days before he died and he was heartbroken about what has happened to the A&E. He saved so many lives in the resuscitation room.”
Mr Lewis, who has been outpoken against proposals to downgrade the A&E department at Grantham, says Mr Chakrabarti was skilled in many areas including orthopaedics. He said: “He was such a skilled clinician and held so much respect. He treated me like a son and I always called him Mr Chakrabarti. People used to come up to him and thank him all the time.”
Mr Lewis also said Mr Chakrabarti had numerous stories to tell about his early days as a doctor in India when he worked alongside Mother Teresa. He would tell of the times when she would tug on his jacket and ask him to see a poor patient out in the street, only to return again and again for more help with the sick. Mr Chakrabarti would never fail to help.
Mr Lewis said that Mr Chakrabarti also visited Chicago where he spent some time with a trauma unit. He came back and helped set up a the first trauma unit in the region.
Mr Lewis added: “There was nothing he could not do. It was a pleasure to know him.”