LOVING tributes have been paid to an ‘inspirational’ doctor who died in a car crash.
The parents of Ronak Patel, known as Ronnie, have said the 33-year-old was a hard worker and model student who had inspired a lot of his friends.
We were so proud of what he achievedMina Patel
Dr Patel, who grew up in Gosport and studied A-levels at St Vincent College, died after his car collided with a lorry in Honington, Suffolk, earlier this month.
He had been a trainee anaesthetist at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital since February, having moved to Ixworth in Suffolk.
Dr Patel’s parents Mina and Pat, who own Pats News on St Nicholas Avenue, in Gosport, said he was very popular with his friends.
‘We never knew how popular he was until we read all the tributes made about him on Facebook,’ said Mrs Patel.
‘His friends said he was very approachable and they could talk to him about anything. He would also talk to anyone who needed a friend.
‘Ronnie was an inspiration to everyone he met.’
She added: ‘We have received so many messages from people across the world who have said lovely things about him.’
In 2009 Dr Patel travelled to Christchurch, in New Zealand, and worked at the main hospital in the city.
The 33-year-old spent 14 months there following his graduation from the University of Leicester where he studied medicine.
Once back from New Zealand, he met his wife Helen.
Despite moving away from Gosport, Dr Patel would regularly visit his parents and brother Anish, 28.
Mrs Patel added: ‘He would try and visit as often as he could and we would always go out for lunch and dinner. It was always lovely when he was home.
‘We were so proud of what he achieved. He always worked so hard to be where he is and even at school, he always tried his best.’
Dr Patel attended Brune Park School, in Military Road in Gosport, and before leaving the school he was given several awards for his work.
Mr Patel added: ‘I remember we had attended a leavers’ assembly when he left Brune Park and all these awards were being handed out and Ronnie’s name was next to a lot of them.
‘We couldn’t believe it but he was such a hard worker.’
A spokeswoman from Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital said Dr Patel was extremely popular.
‘He was a highly regarded and capable doctor and was extremely popular within the department,’ she said.
‘He had recently been working towards his Anaesthetic Fellowship exams and it was felt he had a bright future ahead of him in medicine.’