Warm tributes have been paid to Eastbourne DGH’s A&E matron Dave Fox-Dossett who lost his fight with pancreatic cancer last Thursday – the day after his 48th birthday.
The father of four has been described as everyone’s hero who would do anything for anyone and adored his family.
On Thursday – just hours after Dave passed away in St Wilfrid’s Hospice surrounded by his family – the landing lights at the DGH helipad were turned on and up to 15 ambulances parked at the hospital with their blue lights flashing in a 10 minute tribute to the nurse who had worked in the accident and emergency department since 1992.
Dave, born and brought up in Hastings, had lived in Eastbourne since 1992 and met his wife Katy after she joined A&E in 1998. The couple married in 2011 and lived in Whitley Road.
He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in August last year but Dave’s family said that didn’t stop him living life to the full. He did a skydive for St Wilfrid’s Hospice in May, enjoyed walking the family’s dogs, driving his beloved Land Rover called Brenda and in recent months volunteered as a rescuer at the Wildlife Rescue Ambulance Service where friends described him as a larger than life character who lit up a room with his feel-good attitude.
Trevor Weeks at WRAS said, “Dave will be incredibly missed by all. He has touched the hearts and souls of everyone that knew him here at WRAS. He not only helped so many animals, but also, he made close friends and became part of the WRAS family. His smile, his laugh and his care free attitude will always be remembered. We all hope we gave Dave an experience he would never forget. In return we had a rescuer and a friend that will never be forgotten.”
Hundreds of tributes have been paid to Dave on social media and Katy said her husband was a remarkable hero.
A spokesperson at Eastbourne DGH said, “Family, friends and colleagues gathered for an informal tribute to emergency unit matron, Dave Fox-Dossett, who sadly lost his battle with cancer last Thursday morning.
“At 8pm on Thursday evening more than 200 hospital and ambulance staff formed a circle on the helicopter pad outside the A&E department in a moving ten minute tribute to this well-loved colleague and friend.
On behalf of all the matrons in A&E, Amy Collis, head of nursing in the emergency departments, said, “It was a huge privilege to call Dave our colleague and we were even prouder to have been referred to as his ‘A&E family’. Dave was highly respected by everyone who he worked with, mentored or nursed; a role model who many aspired to be like.
“A true gentleman who selflessly always went that extra step to help his colleagues or patients. Dave was incredibly loved and will be missed terribly, especially his smile and sense of humour. He will always be remembered as our A&E legend”
Director of nursing Vikki Carruth said, “I want to offer my sincere condolences to Dave’s family and friends. I know his passing has affected his colleagues and friends enormously. Dave gave a huge part of himself to the Trust and his impact will be lasting, through the colleagues who became his friends, the patients he cared for, and his tireless fundraising. We are so proud that he chose to be a part of our team. He will be missed.”