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Framlingham/Huntingfield: Wife pays tribute to popular doctor Darryl Peel who has died following a bonfire accident

PUBLISHED: 10:50 28 February 2013 | UPDATED: 10:50 28 February 2013

Dr Darryl and Susie Peel.

Dr Darryl and Susie Peel.

Archant

TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular family doctor who has passed away following a freak bonfire accident at his home.

Dr Darryl Peel, of Huntingfield, near Halesworth, has been described as a maverick and a one-off with a fantastic sense of humour by his wife Susie.

The 51-year-old died at the specialist burns unit at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, having been in an induced coma for more than two weeks.

The father-of-three had been flown there by the air ambulance on Wednesday, February 6 after suffering 80% burns when trying to light a garden bonfire that had been primed with petrol.

He suffered a cardiac arrest earlier this week but after surviving this and a number of other complications he was overwhelmed by the extent of his injuries on Tuesday.

Speaking yesterday, Mrs Peel, 47, said: “Darryl was a wonderful husband and an utterly dedicated and proud father of three children. His family and patients were everything to him.

“He was kind, compassionate, a good listener and superb clinician.”

Dr Peel worked at Cutlers Hill Surgery, in Halesworth for 10 years until 2003, when the family emigrated to Australia. They returned the following year and Dr Peel joined the Framlingham Medical Practice, where he has worked since.

Mrs Peel said he would go “above and beyond” for his patients and would regularly give out his home number to allow patients to contact him at any time.

She added: “He was overwhelmed by how delighted his patients were to see him back when he returned in November after a long illness.”

Dr Peel was described as a great sportsman, having played rugby and cricket to county level, and an enormous fan of indie music and Latitude Festival.

Mrs Peel also thanked all of the medical professionals involved in his care, as well as their friends and his patients.

“We have literally hundreds of cards from patients and friends, and we read every single one to him and put them up in his room. Staff said they had never seen somebody with so many cards and well wishes amongst all their patients,” she said. “It has been an extremely grim and torturous three weeks but that level of support and love has been the only thing that has got us as a family through.”

Framlingham Medical Practice was closed yesterday afternoon for training purposes, but in a message on its website Dr Charles Wright, senior partner at the surgery, said their thoughts were with Dr Peel’s family.

“Dr Peel will be missed greatly by both staff and patients at the surgery,” he said.

David Mackie, from Thurston, near Bury St Edmunds, used to work with Dr Peel at the out of hours service in Newmarket, and also wanted to pay tribute.

“Darryl was a tremendous example of a man with a servant’s heart,” he said. “A man who I spent days with on the fairways of his beloved Aldeburgh Golf Club. He was competitive and gracious in defeat. I shall always have fond memories of the time I spent with Darryl. May he rest in peace.”

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