'Warm and generous Richard brought smiles to people’s lives'
- Credit: Richard Taylor family
A man flown from Ipswich to Great Ormond Street with a life-threatening abnormality as a two day old baby, has died after living a long and happy life in Suffolk, surrounded by friends.
Richard Taylor was born in 1957 with no connection to his stomach and a hole between his windpipe and throat – he couldn't breathe, couldn’t eat and was in severe danger — and was born with Down's syndrome.
However, after a successful operation Richard began to recover with help from an incubator to breathe and soon captured the hearts of the nurses and ward sisters with his bright blue eyes and gold-coloured hair — earning the nickname 'Teddy Bear'.
Growing up in Sudbury, Ballingdon and Belchamp Otten, routine was vital for him to cope with his disabilities and he benefited from further education at Limborne House in Clacton, the Gardening Unit at Braintree, the Acorn Community at Mistley and Lufton Manor in Yeovil.
Older brother Michael Taylor said: "He would create his own official capacity or job role, always taken very seriously and reinforced by his strong and vigorous work ethic.
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"Richard was always a warm and generous person. I do not believe that there was a malicious bone in his body.
"He might have been a bit awkward sometimes, but he was never short of extending a hand of friendship to anyone new – and a ready smile and 'Hello' for those close to him – with a hand around the shoulder and a declaration 'My Friend!'"
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A secret Newcastle supporter, Richard loved sport and always enjoyed watching Ipswich Town play at home, as well being active member of the ATC on the Chilton Estate, the Gateway Club, the Swimming Club, the Snooker and Darts Clubs.
A fan of Dr Who, The Queen and Scooby Doo, the 63-year-old was also an active member of the village church as collection official and hymn-book arranger.
Mr Taylor described his younger brother as 'generous to a fault' and that he 'brought smiles to people’s lives'.
"Always recognised around town on his tricycle, it was bit of a royal progress when I took him out," he added. "‘Hello Richard’, ‘Hi Richard’ from all quarters.
"He had to cope with many issues in his life that he bore with great fortitude. But as a family, we couldn’t have done it without you, his carers."
Anyone wishing to recognise the care Richard received during his life can make a donation to Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity, the Bridge Project, Sudbury, or The Salvation Army here.