by Kazeem Olalekan MRPharmS

When the unexpected happens. When the news is sad and sombre. It is time to sit back and reflect on what has been and what could have been. When the news filtered through in late March that University Hospitals Southampton Foundation Trust and Nuffield Hospital’s Spine clinic has suddenly lost its eminent spine consultant in a tragic accident, the human reaction is to gasp in disbelief; even someone like myself who hardly knew the man.

I am writing this piece to pay tribute to the man and to shed light on the social science of triangulation. It will be unusual for someone who knows little about the man to be writing an eulogy about him but this is how I have arrived at this point: Apart from the glowing tribute to Mr Nick Boeree from colleagues at the hospital, it is the unsolicited tribute from my community pharmacy customers that made me pause and think: This is man is really liked, genuinely. Two patients especially came into the the pharmacy where I worked and described the great work done by Mr Boeree on their spines. Without him, one lady said, I would not have been able to walk today! Even spoke to someone who knows the family reasonably well. She describe how much of a family man he was. A chance conversation with a consultant colleague of Mr Boeree confirmed his dedication to his job and family.

So there you have it: A young man at the prime of his professional career – cut down: just like that! Why does these things happen anyway? Since I don’t have any answer to this age old question, I can say a thing or two about a life well lived: You will be remembered by all the lives you touched whilst you were here. And to his family, I offer this consolation: he rests peacefully now. May his soul rest in perfect peace.

Death is the last enemy: once we’ve got past that I think everything will be alright.
Alice Thomas Ellis


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