Lives of the fellows

Katherine Anne Hallidie-Smith

b.27 October 1922 d.16 September 1995
MRCS LRCP(1949) DCH(1952) MB BS Lond(1959) FRCP(1982)

From her early days Katherine Anne Hallidie-Smith showed an enthusiasm for paediatrics. She soon developed an interest in heart disease in children which was to last all her life. She qualified at the Royal Free Hospital Medical School and in 1956 became a medical registrar to the MRC juvenile rheumatism unit at Taplow. Between 1958 and 1959 she was a research fellow in paediatric cardiology at the Childrens Hospital in Philadelphia. In 1962 she went to Hammersmith Hospital and in 1968 was accepted as a postdoctoral fellow at the Sick Childrens Hospital in Toronto. This experience, together with her basic paediatric training and her work in adult cardiology, made it possible for her to undertake the care of neonates, babies, children and adults with heart disease.

Katherine’s great talent was her devoted care of her small patients during their crucial times, often during the watches of the night. She took great interest in their parents too, and her attention to grown-up patients was no less meticulous. But her contributions to medicine did not stop there. Her researches added to the advance in knowledge of congenital heart disease - notably Eisenmenger syndrome, late results of operations for ventricular septal defect and the trilogy of Fallot and postoperative pulmonary vascular disease. She was elected to the membership of the Association of European Paediatric Cardiology and contributed papers at many cardiological meetings. In order to promote her research she set up the Adrian Bower Research Fund.

In addition to her work at Hammersmith she regularly visited a number of regional hospitals to teach and advise on cardiac babies and children. She also visited Malta to advise on paediatric cardiology problems. After reaching retirement age she joined the cardiothoracic department at the Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street, where her clinical and teaching skills were much in demand.

Katherine was single-minded in her devotion to her patients, whose care she was reluctant to surrender to others, but she was a loyal colleague and a friendly gregarious soul. She had many interests outside medicine, including an expert knowledge of antique furniture. She had a great love of Scotland where she had a house on Arran.

J F Goodwin

[Brit.med.J., 1996,312,505]

(Volume X, page 187)

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