Wherstead man and former Newmarket Jockey Club Estates chairman George Paul praises NHS 'heroes' after receiving MBE
A cancer patient has praised the 'heroes' who cared for him while undergoing treatment after receiving an MBE.
George Paul, of Wherstead, was treated by nurses at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2019.
The former chairman of the Jockey Club Estates was able to visit Buckingham Palace in May to receive his MBE for services to horse racing heritage.
Mr Paul, 82, was made a MBE in recognition of his work and the pivotal role he played in the Palace House restoration project in Newmarket.
After receiving the award, he thanked the oncology team at Ipswich Hospital for the 'faultless' care they have provided.
“The team at Ipswich have been brilliant," said Mr Paul.
"All of the staff are compassionate, caring, cheerful and friendly. I can’t speak more highly of them – they have been absolutely faultless.
“I have treatment every fortnight and do experience some side effects, but the great thing is I am still able to do most things. I started playing golf when I was 78 and find it great fun, and still get on my horse from time to time, although getting off is trickier now that I’m older.
“Being diagnosed with a serious illness changes your perspective on life. It has made me look forward to every day and spend my time doing the things I enjoy.”
The MBE was presented to Mr Paul by the Duke of Cambridge, who told him how much his grandmother had enjoyed visiting the estate at its official opening in 2016.
He added: “When I received the letter from Buckingham Palace it was the last thing I expected. I always say my MBE was unexpected and undeserved, but nevertheless extremely welcome.
“The whole experience of receiving the award from Prince William was fantastic and I was so pleased to hear how much the Queen enjoyed her visit. I’ve been lucky enough to have a life full of great days, and that was certainly one of them.
“But I am not a hero for the work I did in horseracing – that title goes to the NHS staff who are extremely competent and always cheerful and enthusiastic.
"I also see the care they show to those who are just starting their treatment; that kindness makes a big difference when you are anxious and don’t know what to expect.
“I would like to say a huge thank you to them for everything.”