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Biographical entry Jewsbury, Percy (1920 - 2008)

FRCS 1950; MD Minnesota 1943; MB ChB Manchester 1944.

12 March 1920
Manchester, UK
17 December 2008
Cardiothoracic surgeon


Percy Jewsbury was a consultant cardiothoracic surgeon at the Blackpool Victoria Hospital. He was born in 12 March 1920 in Manchester, the son of Sydney Shardlow Jewsbury, a heating and ventilation engineer, and Hannah Harrison Alder, a district nurse. He was educated at Manchester Grammar School and then entered Manchester Medical School, where he won a Rockefeller studentship to Minneapolis, Minnesota. There he qualified MD in 1943, and returned to Manchester to complete his English qualifications, winning the surgical prize in his finals. He was then a house surgeon at the Manchester Royal Infirmary, at the Birmingham Accident Hospital, and then a casualty officer and resident surgical officer at Manchester Royal Infirmary.

From 1946 to 1948, he was in the RAMC as a graded surgeon at 77 British Military Hospital Wuppertal, Rhine Army, whilst retaining his position as a supernumerary surgical registrar on Michael Boyd’s unit at Manchester Royal Infirmary and as a general surgical registrar at the Withington Hospital. In Minneapolis he had been taught by Richard L Varco, who stimulated his interest in thoracic surgery and in 1951 he became a senior registrar in thoracic surgery at the Withington Hospital under Graham Bryce and Frank Nicholson, from which he was appointed as a consultant in cardiothoracic surgery at the Victoria Hospital, Blackpool, in 1955, where he remained until his retirement in 1983.

His consultant career was at a time when heart surgery was expanding dramatically and, in 1960, together with James Glenie, he initiated open-heart surgery in Blackpool for the closure of congenital septal defects and valve replacement operations. The heart pump for this new technique of surgery was not readily available in those days and Percy persuaded engineers at the nearly British Aircraft Company in Warton to manufacture a pump – this was the situation in the United Kingdom in the early 1960s. All this was in addition to his thoracic work, which included pioneering operations for the resection of post-intubation tracheal strictures and the reanastomosis of the left main bronchus during lobectomy. He also undertook oesophageal resection with colon transplant, and operations for the correction of portal hypertension by spleno-renal and portocaval anastomosis. Like so many of his generation of cardiothoracic surgeons, he was completely dedicated to his work and the further development of open-heart surgery, to the partial exclusion of his home and social life. He was president of the Manchester Surgical Society in 1980, and president of the North West Thoracic Society.

In 1945 Percy married Moira Elizabeth Walter, a staff nurse at Manchester Royal Infirmary. They had three sons (David Richard, Brian Ross and Robert Graham), none of whom entered medicine, although one grandson (Hugh Oliver) became an ophthalmologist. In 1969, Percy and Moira retired. His recreations were fell-walking, dingy sailing, golf, music, photography and working in his garage. He died on 17 December 2008.

Raymond Hurt

Sources used to compile this entry: [Information from Moira Jewsbury; BMJ 2009 338 1944].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England