A professor known as the “big daddy of British renal medicine” has died with coronavirus, it has been confirmed.
Prof Donal O’Donoghue, who was the Royal College of Physicians’ (RCP) registrar, died on Sunday at Stockport’s Stepping Hill Hospital.
RCP president Prof Andrew Goddard said Prof O’Donoghue, who was appointed OBE for services to kidney patients in 2018, had been “the loveliest person”.
The 64-year-old had been his “friend”, “wingman” and “confidant”, he added.
A spokesman for the RCP said Prof O’Donoghue had been “passionate about professionalism in medicine, innovation and quality improvement in health and care”.
Alongside his clinical duties at Salford Royal Hospital, where he had worked since 1992, he was the inaugural president of the British Renal Society, president of the Renal Association and the first National Clinical Director of Kidney Care at the Department of Health.
He was also chairman of trustees for the patient support charity Kidney Care UK, who said he had been “an inspiration to so many in our community”.
“He was tireless in his support for kidney patients, never hesitating to listen to all, to highlight inequalities and promote the best possible care,” a spokesman for the charity added.
“His care and support… really did make a difference, and will continue to do so for years to come.”
Sandra Currie, the chief executive of charity Kidney Research UK, said the “impact” of Prof O’Donoghue’s “early death will be profound across so many areas of the kidney community”.
A number of other charities and organisations also paid tribute to Prof O’Donoghue via Twitter.
We’re incredibly saddened to hear that our colleague and friend Professor Donal O’Donoghue OBE passed away last night.
— Northern Care Alliance NHS Group (NCA) (@NCAlliance_NHS) January 4, 2021
This is incredibly sad to hear. Our condolences to Professor Donal O’Donoghue’s family, colleagues and @RCPLondon on their loss. His contributions to healthcare will never be forgotten. 💙 https://t.co/K5ZlUDosX1
— Intensive Care Society (@ICS_updates) January 4, 2021
KDIGO is deeply saddened by the loss of Donal O’Donoghue, a remarkable leader in the treatment of kidney disease, a valued colleague, and a longtime supporter of KDIGO. The global kidney community will truly miss him. Our sincerest condolences to his family and loved ones.
— KDIGO (@goKDIGO) January 5, 2021
Paying tribute to “my friend, my wingman and my confidant”, Prof Goddard said “words cannot express how sad this has made all of us at the RCP”.
“Donal was the loveliest person and considered by many to be the ‘big daddy’ of British renal medicine,” he added.
The announcement of the professor’s death, which followed two weeks of intensive care at the Stockport hospital, led to his name being shared widely on social media.
Prof O’Donoghue’s son James tweeted that while his family were “devastated… to know he was loved by so many and to see my Dad trending on Twitter today is truly overwhelming”.
His daughter-in-law Rheanna added that “the world was poorer without him in it”.