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Tributes to Dr Margaret Grant MBE.

  • Posted on Dec 18, 2020

We have received some tributes for Dr Margaret Grant MBE from our Health Care Professionals. You can read a sample of them here.

Prof. Nick Shaw, Birmingham Children’s Hospital

“The diagnosis of a rare condition in their child is an important and often life changing event for the parents. Nowadays we recognise when discussing such a condition with parents that an important aspect is providing them with information about the family support group. Such groups are now common and are an important resource and support network for families.

This however has not always been the case which is why the creation of the Brittle Bone Society (BBS) in 1968 by Margaret Grant was an important event for families with Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) in the UK. The birth of her daughter Yvonne, who like herself had the condition, made Margaret realise the lack of support for the condition. Her letter to the Sunday Post was seen by other affected families leading to the first national meeting to bring them together.

The annual BBS conference continues to be an important event where families can meet other affected individuals, often for the first time, and listen and chat to health care professionals who work with OI. It has been a privilege for me to attend such conferences over the years and an honour to be the Chairman of the Medical Advisory Board of the BBS at the time of it’s 50th anniversary and conference in Dundee in 2018.

The BBS was probably the first family support group for OI in the world which has been replicated in many countries. The OI team at Birmingham Children’s Hospital ensures that they are an important part of the initial conversations we have with parents of a child recently diagnosed with OI. This legacy is and will continue to be due to the vision of Margaret Grant to whom we pay our respects.”

Prof. Faisal Ahmed, Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow

“My thoughts are with Yvonne and the rest of the family. I didn’t know Margaret very well but had met her at the Brittle Bone Society meetings and especially the annual meetings where we shared a dinner table on more than one occasion. She was clearly a major part of the BBS and its success as a patient focused organisation with such a wide base of stakeholders. It takes a lot of energy and vision to develop such a successful society from such humble beginnings and I am sure many of us will remain in her debt for that.”

Prof. Nick Bishop, Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

“As a clinician my focus for the last 25 years has been the improvement of care for children with OI and their families.  A major step forward in that care provision came in 2010 with the creation of the Highly Specialised Service for Severe Complex and Atypical OI in Children.  That creation was strongly supported by the Brittle Bone Society, founded by Margaret Grant over 50 years ago.

I believe that Margaret was moved by the same impulse that underpins the activities that all healthcare professionals involved in the field share – to aim to do more, to do better, to draw together people who share those aims and apply them, so that children and adults with OI, their families and their communities move forward together and have better lives and life chances. This focus on the importance of community, sharing and doing things together is something that shines through from then to now, and I’m very grateful to Margaret for her foresight and determination in starting and leading the Brittle Bone Society in its early days.

I know she was very proud of what the Brittle Bone Society has become, and I think we are very fortunate in this country to have such a strong, active and well-respected patient organisation that works so closely with those of us delivering healthcare. We are all part of her legacy, and I am grateful for that.”

Dr. Catherine DeVile, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children. 

“Within the UK OI family and beyond, Dr Margaret Grant MBE is an inspiration to us all. We mourn her death but celebrate her life and thank her and her family for their invaluable contribution in being integral to setting up health services for children with OI and increasing medical and surgical knowledge of OI.

When Margaret had her daughter Yvonne, who also had OI, she could not fined professionals who knew about OI, so she approached various institutions to see if she could find any support. Amongst those contacted were medical and surgical doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), including Professor Kenneth Holt, Mr John Fixsen and Alison Wisbeach, and so the OI clinic was born at The Wolfson Centre, Neurodisability Service, part of GOSH, and has flourished ever since.

Without Margaret and her family, the Wolfson / GOSH OI service would not be where it is today, now recognised as one of 4 centres in England with highly specialised expertise and serving well over 300 children and young people with OI.

It is so important to remember and treasure our roots and beginnings. We learnt so much from Margaret and her family and we go on learning from the children and families with OI who come under our care.

The GOSH OI team past and present are privileged to have known you Margaret, and I thank you personally for your help and humour and for always being a friendly and encouraging face at BBS annual conferences.

May you Rest in Peace.”