It was an afternoon tea Betty Crichton will never forget, because it was her moment to say thank you to the man who removed her cancer.
Betty was diagnosed with breast cancer by surgeon Pasupathy Kiruparan (known as Mr Kiri) at Blackpool Victoria Hospital 18 months ago.
He swiftly booked her in to have it removed, and was there for her every step along the way.
Betty, of Somerset Avenue, Blackpool, nominated Mr Kiri for The Gazette Patient Experience award at this year’s Celebrating Success Awards.
Unable to make the award night at Blackpool Tower Ballroom in November, Betty missed Mr Kiri collecting his honour but instead organised the afternoon tea at the venue.
She said: “I was absolutely thrilled to bits that Mr Kiri won. I am so privileged that our paths crossed – he’s such a lovely man and I’m so proud that he won the award.
“We all know how talented, skilled, gifted and modest Mr Kiri is, but it is his humility that becomes him. He is so approachable and a thoroughly nice guy.”
Betty, a mother of four, said when she was given the news she had cancer, her reaction was “just to get on with it”.
“To be honest, I didn’t think about it,” she said.
“I’ve never looked back, and I put that down to Mr Kiri.
“He has this amazing ability to turn a glimmer of hope into a fire of faith by taking the fear out of cancer.
“I didn’t know him until I met him in that treatment room 18 months ago, and he’s left a lasting impression on me.”
Betty has also praised Blackpool’s breast care nurses Lorraine Jones, Lynette Bracegirdle and Sarah Guilfoyle, who enjoyed a chat over tea with her and Mr Kiri.
Mr Kiri, a breast consultant and general surgeon, said it was nice to meet up with Betty again at the ballroom.
He said: “I head a great time with Betty and the breast care team.
“They were all saying I deserved the award, which is good news. I am very pleased to have won The Gazette Patient Experience award, although I didn’t expect it.”
Mr Kiri has been a breast consultant for 11 years.
He added: “I have seen and treated a lot of women and all of them have been so grateful that I have been able to help them. Breaking the news that they have cancer is the hardest part, but I can offer them treatment and bring them back up again which is very rewarding, but it’s just the job I do.”