‘He led a very humble life’ – Former chef leaves £245,000 legacy gift to Sheffield Children’s Hospital

A former pastry cook and confectioner who died at the age of 107 left £245,000 to Sheffield Children’s Hospital on his death, helping to pay for a state-of-the-art scanner which now helps treat his great niece.

Wednesday, 1st May 2019, 11:41 am
Updated Thursday, 2nd May 2019, 7:31 pm
David 'Stanley' Brackenbrough on his 107th birthday.

So inspired was David ‘Stanley’ Brackenbrough by the treatment seven-year-old Isabelle Smith received when she was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2012 that he agreed to leave his entire estate to Sheffield Children’s Hospital on his death.

The money he left helped pay for a revolutionary SPECT-CT scanner which now helps treat her and dozens of other children with serious illnesses.

Stanley - who was born in 1909 - enlisted as a Private in the Royal Army Services Corps in World War II before being promoted through the ranks and ending the war as a Commanding Officer.

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The SPECT-CT scanner at Sheffield Children's Hospital.

He married and had two children, with all three sadly passing away before him over the course of his long life.

After the war, David worked as a pastry cook and confectioner, living a very humble life in which his main loves were walking and painting.

He died in Northern General Hospital on February 27, 2017.

Stanley’s gift means young patients at Sheffield Children’s Hospital will now benefit from even faster diagnosis and treatment thanks to the new scanner, with one of those already benefiting being his great niece Isabelle Smith.

Deborah Hall, Stanley’s niece and her husband Andrew opening the SPECT-CT scanner.

Isabelle’s mum Loran, aged 33, said: “Stanley always had affection for Sheffield Children’s Hospital and he loved Isabelle so much. Every time she visited him, she would tell him she wanted to be a doctor and he always encouraged her.

“He saw that they looked after her so well, so it became very important to him to help in any way that he could. The care we receive is incredible, the hospital and team can’t do enough for us. We are so lucky to have such an amazing hospital on our doorstep.

“It’s absolutely amazing to think that he could help children like Isabelle in the future and maybe even Isabelle herself when she comes in. You always want to ensure that your children receive the best care possible and to know he will help other families too is really very special.”

Deborah Hall, Stanley’s niece and her husband Andrew - who are also Isabelle’s grandparents - cut the ribbon when the new machine was launched in January.

'Team Izzy' - Isabelle, Loran, Matt and Jack Smith with Ian Jennings.

Costing a total of £800,000, the equipment will allow radiologists to scan children with suspected cancerous tumours, epilepsy, painful injuries or neuro-disabilities with just one highly advanced diagnostic device.

It will also mean less discomfort for patients, with multiple scans conducted at the same time. The enhanced imagery will also provide more certainty when diagnosing patients so they can expect more tailored treatment.

The care Isabelle received from the hospital also inspired ‘Team Izzy’, a group of family and friends who have ran marathons and held events, collecting more than £15,000 for the hospital.

The remaining cost of the scanner was raised throughout 2017 and helped by The Children’s Hospital Charity’s ‘National Elf Service’ campaign, which encouraged supporters to take part in festive fun and fancy dress.

The appeal’s total was doubled by three big-hearted local businessmen, Graham Royle of GRI Group, Matt Davison of Portland Investment Group and another donor who wishes to remain anonymous.

Dan Walker’s celebrity golf day raised a further £50,000 while the ‘Children’s Champions’ group of individuals, companies and private family trusts raised £78,000 towards the cost.

David Vernon-Edwards, director of The Children’s Hospital Charity added: “We would like to thank David’s family and all of the generous donors from the bottom of our hearts for enabling Sheffield Children’s Hospital to offer this amazing device, which will make a massive difference for so many severely ill children.”

Visit www.tchc.org.uk to find out more about a discounted will writing service and how to leave a gift to help the children’s hospital.