The NHS founder’s granddaughter married the grandson of its first ever patient

Thursday 06 July 2017 09:00
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Picture:(HULTON ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES)

This week marks the 69th birthday of the UK's beloved National Health Service!

And in 2016, one of life's lovely coincidences came to pass.

On 5 July 1948 the National Health Service opened its doors to the public, offering health care for all that was free at the point of use.

68 years later, the granddaughter of its founder, and the service's first ever patient were engaged.

They are Katie Dorman, granddaughter of Labour Prime Minister Clement Attlee, and George Diggory the grandson of Sylvia Beckingham, who as a 13-year-old was the first patient treated under the NHS.

Dorman and Diggory both have medical backgrounds, and met in a laboratory at Newcastle University.

The penny dropped about their connection when Diggory visited Doman's home, and saw a ceremonial sword which had been given to Attlee by the leader of Yugoslavia Marshal Josip Tito.

Diggory's grandmother Sylvia Beckingham was the NHS' first official patient, when she was treated at Manchester Park Hospital for potentially fatal liver failure.

The free health care did the job, and Beckingham grew up to have children, and grandchildren.

She became a teacher, and told the Mirror she was so indebted to the NHS that she enrolled her son (George's father) in medical school.

On 12 June, Katie Diggory shared this image, apparently from their wedding day, on Facebook.

HT Mirror

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