THE MEMORY of a much-loved doctor will live on through a life-saving defibrillator.
Schoolfriends of the late Dr Ronak Patel raised £1,000 so the device could be available to the community first responders in Gosport.
We thought it would be nice to have something in memory of him and his legacy so he could carry on saving livesChris Newbrook
Dr Patel, who was a trainee anaesthetist, died in a car crash in August, as reported in The News.
Although he was living in Norfolk at the time of the crash, he grew up in Gosport and would often visit his friends in Hampshire.
Chris Newbrook, from Gosport, went to Brune Park Community School with Dr Patel and started the campaign.
The 33-year-old said: ‘I came up with the campaign and all our old school friends wanted to get involved.
‘We thought it would be nice to have something in memory of him and his legacy so he could carry on saving lives.’
It only took two weeks for Chris and his friends to raise the £1,000 which they gave to South Central Ambulance Service for the defibrillator.
Chris added: ‘I was a bit surprised about how quickly we were able to raise the money but then again, I wasn’t.
‘Even though he moved away for his job, Ronak would come down regularly and see all of us.
‘We wanted to do something to remember him down here and a plaque will be put up too for him.
‘He was well-liked in this area and even his old college St Vincent gave money towards it.
‘I think his parents were surprised how much we thought of him. He was a genuine guy and he never forgot where he came from.’
Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage has been campaigning to get more defibrillators in the town.
She said: ‘This is just an incredible tribute to Ronak by his friends. The fact that their gesture could save lives is just outstanding.’
The plaque is being unveiled at the Fighting Cocks pub later this month.