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The Buzz > Professor James Friend is leaving a legacy to make a difference in the future

Professor James Friend is leaving a legacy to make a difference in the future

Professor James Friend spent more than 40 years as a specialist in chest medicine in Edinburgh and Aberdeen and devoted 15 years of his life as a trustee and member of the research committee of Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland.

Now 83 years old, and in keeping with the dedication he demonstrated in his working life, he is giving the same thoughtfulness to his legacy.

Leaving a legacy

James has chosen Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland as one of eight charities who will benefit from a legacy on his death, an incredibly generous gesture that will make a difference to the lives of people living with chest, heart and stroke conditions.

James says: "I have been fortunate in my life, and I think it’s only right I do something that will have a lasting effect. I didn’t come from a very wealthy family, but I have a good pension from the health service, and I’ve been able to save a bit.

"I have been very involved over the years with Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, so choosing this charity as a beneficiary was a simple decision."

I think it’s only right I do something that will have a lasting effect

"I have often felt that, while most people have a huge sympathy for those in pain, many people do not understand how frightening and limiting it is to have conditions causing acute or chronic breathlessness, and certainly the support that Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland offers for such people is so important."

A life in health

James was born in Edinburgh, the youngest of three brothers. He studied medicine at Cambridge and did his clinical training back in his home city before moving to a training post in chest diseases. He spent 30 years as a consultant in Aberdeen.

He recalls: "At the time I started in Aberdeen, most people in the specialty had been involved in treating TB. But things were changing rapidly because TB was getting under control, and new diseases were emerging – the smoker’s diseases of lung cancer and COPD, as well as asthma and, of course, a number of occupational lung diseases.

"One of the great privileges of working in the health service is that you meet people from every walk of life and learn so much from them. I just wish some of our politicians had this experience and understood better what life is like from those who have had difficult times in their lives or are in poverty."

On ensuring he leaves a legacy, James is as practical as he was in his medical career.

He says: "You have to be practical. I know I won’t live forever. It’s what I do with the time now that matters."

Interested in leaving a legacy in your will? Visit chss.org.uk/legacies to find out more.

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