Obituary: Dr Rachel Lewis
An optometrist turned GP, Dr Lewis has passed away aged 53
Dr Lewis is remembered by friend and optometrist Rachael Smith.
“Rachel was much loved by her friends, family and patients. Born in Huddersfield in 1967 and educated by the state in the comprehensive system, she loved studying.”
Dr Lewis attended City, University of London (formerly The City University) from 1986 to 1989. After finishing her pre-registration year in 1990 at St Paul’s Eye Hospital in Liverpool, she decided to fulfil her ambition to become a doctor, working evenings and weekends at an opticians in Brent Cross shopping centre to fund her degree in medicine at St Bartholomew’s Medical School.
Dr Lewis continued her studies with GP training in Surrey where she lived, and qualified as a GP in Woking in 2003.
After working in the NHS in Woking for some years, in 2008 Dr Lewis set up a private GP surgery in Guildford with the help of her husband Richard, who she had met at City University.
“Rachel’s care and dedication to her patients enabled her practice to flourish and expand, with patients travelling far and wide for consultations with her and her colleagues," Ms Smith said.
“However, she maintained her love of optometry, gaining her CET points every year until recently, but always leaving it to the last minute!”
In her leisure time, Dr Lewis enjoyed music as well as baking. She was a Grade 8 pianist, enjoying opera and ballet.
Ms Smith added: “Her children are a credit to her, now all young adults with many of Rachel’s qualities of caring, dedication, and of course good humour, which she maintained right until the end.
“Rachel was one of the very first people I met when I started at City University and we immediately discovered that not only did we share a first name, but we were both doing the same course, and were to be in the same halls of residence on the same floor. I think our friendship was cemented by the end of that first conversation.”
“She made her dearest life-long friends there, also meeting her husband in the famed ‘Notty Hall’ in Bunhill Row. Those who shared her corridor on the 15th floor will remember her singing in the shower, everything from 80’s pop to Christian rock songs. She loved her days at university and found great pleasure in poring over old photos and reminiscing in the last few months.
“Rachel was a true Yorkshire-woman who loved nothing better than a mug of Yorkshire tea, a cream cake and a bag of Liquorice allsorts. She was truly stoic throughout her illness, and always counted her blessings, with ‘can’t complain’ being a familiar phrase. She will be sadly missed by all who knew her.”
Dr Lewis leaves behind her husband Richard and children Ailsa, Natasha and Thomas.