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Trotton with Chithurst parish council

Serving the people of Trotton and Chithurst

Parish Clerk: Mr Neil Ryder
Steps, Trotton, West Sussex
GU31 5EP

Tel: 0203 021 3383

"Trotton saviour" dies aged 90

Posted: Fri, 15 Sep 2017 11:13 by Neil Ryder

"Trotton saviour" dies aged 90

Trotton community mourns the loss of an "inspiring neighbour": Dr Priscilla Noble-Mathews

As the Midhurst Observer put it: "Much-loved Trotton villager Priscilla Noble-Mathews died in hospital on Saturday (September 2) after suffering a stroke in her garden."

The newspaper gave a brief tribute on 7th Sept but followed this up with a front-page story and a full page inside on 124th Sept. It is also worth looking at her web page as an author, which describes her thus:

"Priscilla Noble-Mathews is a semi-retired Medical Preactitioner practicing as a Locum for a General Medical Practice in West Sussex. Born in Hindhead, Surrey, England she was a Barrister before studying Medicine at the University of Southampton from where she graduated in 1976. She is a deeply committed Christian, a Roman Catholic, and, while still practicing Medicine, studied Theology, ,at St.John's Seminary, Wonersh, gaining a BTh (Hons) in 2007. She then gained a Master of Arts Degree in Theology at the University of Wales, Lampeter, in 2010. For over twenty years she was a Voluntary Immediate Care Doctor being called out to Trauma and Medical Emergencies, hence her interest in resuscitation and her search for a Theology to underpin the ethics associated with this."

Villagers from the Trotton community, at their annual village fete, paid tribute today to a much loved and revered neighbour, friend and inspiration.

Priscilla, described by the local rector, Revd Edward Doyle, as "one of life's real givers", always took an active part in the fete and was so disappointed that she could not take an active part this year, (having cracked her pelvis in a fall in July), that she commissioned a friend to make 40 yellow duck cup cakes for the 30th year of the fete's duck race!

Father Edward, in his stint as head of the Rother Valley churches group, says he recalls her giving him her book "A Search for a Theology of Resuscitation" – which he felt underlined her unusual blend of spiritual and ecumenical faith and leading-edge medical experience.

As one of the early specialists in SIMCAS (which provides specially trained and equipped doctors or nurses to serious road collisions and other major incidents in the South East 24 hours a day) she did her training and annual test in advanced driving with the police, helped to train local ambulance crews and wrote learned papers about airbags and many other innovations. She not only raced – by car or air ambulance – to many accidents all over the region up to the age of 85, but was always first on the scene for any local accidents. John Daborn, who lived on the sharp corner of the A272 in Trotton until this spring, says she was a "local saviour", always there well before the ambulance when motorcyclists came off their bikes on the corner outside his house. When his wife Joy fell from her horse on Trotton Common in 2011, their son got Priscilla there in minutes, and she recognised and treated her for a broken back and called in the air ambulance even before the paramedics reacted to the 999 call, which probably saved her from total paralysis.

Priscilla was even the key adviser on the scene in June this year – aged 90! - when local villagers, led by Charles Homan, used the village defibrillator to save the life of a Surrey policeman who collapsed and fell from his bike, not breathing and with no pulse.

Local doctor Andrew Bridger said that Priscilla had a sparkling reputation, not only for her more recent work with SIMCAS but also her time working at the King Edward IIV hospital before it closed in 2003 and, before that for her practice in Stenning, where she continued part-time after moving to Trotton to look after her Parkinsons-stricken partner.

Renowned bookbinder Maureen Dukes described Priscilla as a wonderful neighbour with immense patience, a true love for humanity, an incredible brain (she had degrees in law, medicine and theology) and an ability – and wish - to talk to people of all ages and persuasions at their own level. "Priscilla spent hours every week taking calls from people who depended on her, and I'm sure many were former patients and ex-parishioners, but she was no tame agony aunt – if you didn't follow her medical advice she'd give you what for in no uncertain terms!" said Maureen. "She certainly followed it herself: within a couple of weeks of being bed-bound with her cracked pelvis, she was taking what she called her daily tortoise walk – in great pain – to recover her fitness!" Another neighbour says "If you ever asked her how she felt, she always said 'joyful' but, even after her recent fall, when she was in such pain, she noticed if I was tired and started giving me advice - on my health and my lifestyle!"

Chairman of the local village council Carola Brown called her an inspiration to all of us, and was echoed by previous council chairman John Field who said she was "always there for all of us and a great contributor to any village event."

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