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Biographical entry Morris-Jones, Wyn (1935 - 2015)

MB BCh Wales 1959; MRCS LRCP 1959; FRCS Glasgow 1964; FRCS Edin 1966; FRCS 1967; MCh 1969; MD Leicester 1972; LLB London 1996.

13 September 1935
Ammanford, Wales
6 April 2015
Vascular surgeon


Wyn Morris-Jones was a consultant vascular surgeon in Sheffield. He was a real 'gentleman surgeon' and throughout his career showed compassion, dedication and care for his patients. He will always be remembered for the way in which his patient's welfare always came first, and his oft-repeated phrase of 'poor, poor dear' marked his caring spirit. He was characterised by a singular humility, an amicable temperament and a winsome personality, not always found in a highly skilled consultant surgeon.

Wyn was born on 13 September 1935 in a suburb of Ammanford, Wales, and his father was headmaster of a village primary school at Drefach, just outside Ammanford. Tragically his father succumbed to the ravages of tuberculosis in 1938 and, a year later, when the Second World War broke out, his mother joined the war effort and worked in a factory near Ammanford making clothes for the servicemen and women. Wyn was educated at Amman Valley Grammar School, where he developed a keen interest in cricket. He also studied music to a high level and eventually had to choose between music and medicine as a career. However, after his A levels, he entered the Welsh National School of Medicine in Cardiff, where he continued his love of cricket, becoming treasurer and secretary of the medical school cricket team. After qualifying in 1959 he became a house surgeon to Lambert Rogers, house physician to Howells and then three months of neurosurgery, not leaving the hospital at all for three months.

After his house jobs, Wyn was called up for National Service and was posted to Aden. He was then ordered to join the 45th commando unit and a section of the SAS as the medical officer, spending time in Sharjah and Dubai. He then returned to Aden, where he served as the regimental and family doctor.

On his return to the UK, he was appointed as a senior house officer in orthopaedics and casualty at the Cardiff Royal Infirmary. He was subsequently appointed to a surgical research job identifying arteries supplying tumours and infusing them with methotrexate. In a similar manner he would dissect out lymphatics in the arms of patients with breast cancer and inject them with contrast to see if the glands in the axilla showed signs of secondary tumour. So began Wyn's vascular interest. He became highly skilled in surgical research, obtaining two higher degrees, an MCh from the University of Wales in 1969 and then an MD from the University of Leicester in 1972.

While working at Cardiff Royal Infirmary, he met Isobel Jacobs, a sister in the accident and emergency department and they married on Boxing Day in 1967. In 1970, they moved to England when Wyn was appointed as a senior registrar in surgery to the United Sheffield Hospitals. During that time he spent some time in Leicester, as part of the Trent surgical training scheme, and a further period of research in Seattle, USA, which led to his MD. He was subsequently appointed as a consultant surgeon in Sheffield, initially at the Royal Infirmary and subsequently at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital. Whilst working as a busy consultant vascular surgeon, Wyn also developed his love of medico-legal issues and, finding the law fascinating, he obtained a degree in law from London University in 1996. He became a much sought after medical expert and developed a significant medico-legal reputation, based on his integrity and attention to detail.

Sadly Wyn's retirement was sullied by ill health, suffering as he was from widespread pyrophosphate arthropathy and pernicious anaemia. He underwent spinal surgery in 2006 and 2008, a knee replacement in 2010 and developed widespread peripheral neuropathy as well as emphysema. He bore his ailments with considerable fortitude - a characteristic that marked his whole life. He died on 6 April 2015, aged 79, a well-loved clinician, an excellent colleague and a wonderful husband, father and grandfather. He was survived by his widow, Isobel, and by their daughters, Helen and Rhian.

W E G (Bill) Thomas

The Royal College of Surgeons of England