Family and friends.
We are all here today to
pay tribute and to celebrate the life and loves of Ross.
I would first like to offer
my deepest sympathies to Min, Pete, Angie and Kate for their immense loss.
Ross was my best friend.
I always thought that when
it came for me to stand up in front of people to talk about Ross, it would be as his best man. Just as he had been my best
man at my wedding last year. At the time, I knew he was nervous, but he did an admirable job and I hope to do him proud today.
Ross and I first met 15 years
ago when we lived opposite each other in halls of residence at Bristol Medical School.
We met within a few days
of starting and we were brought together by a mutual love of beer, Bond films and bad music.
We quickly became great friends
and have pretty much been inseparable since.
At university, Ross was always
known for his cheeky grin, sense of humour and general out-going nature.
He excelled at all aspects
of university life. He threw himself into the academic, social and sporting sides of life, all with the same unbridled enthusiasm.
There are so many stories
I could recount to you from university. However, most of them involve alcohol, a few involve the police and a surprising number
I guess there was a reason
why Ross was voted torso of the year.
As a doctor, Ross went through
several specialities before his final choice of anaesthetics.
We all thought that it was
because he wanted to do more exams, as in his own word he was an “Exam God”.
In truth, he had finally
found a speciality that allowed him to display his many talents; utilising his mind, his dexterity and his compassion, as well as allowing him the freedom to pursue his outdoor exploits.
That and also he enjoyed
I remember fondly our endless
debates as to which side of the blood brain barrier was more important.
It was probably one of the
few things we could never agree on.
Ross was an excellent anaesthetist
and displayed his trademark dedication and commitment in all aspects of his job. He was universally liked and respected by
his senior colleagues as well as the junior doctors and the nursing staff.
He was well known for his
enthusiasm in teaching the juniors and took great pride in his role in their apprenticeship, imparting his knowledge and experience
onto the next generation of doctors.
He was also popular with
colleagues outside of his department, always ready to stop for a chat in the corridor and talk about a patient or as was more
common, arrange another social gathering.
He brought with him, compassion,
integrity, intelligence and a very necessary sense of humour to a physically and emotionally taxing job and I know he absolutely
loved his work.
Ross’ other great love
He had a wonderful zest for
life and with that came his deep passion for all outdoor activities.
Windsurfing, mountain biking,
surfing, skiing, he loved all these sports and many more and he attacked each and every one with great enthusiasm and gusto.
He delighted in spending
time in the outdoors and be it a quick afternoon sail before an evening shift or a week long skiing odyssey with the boys,
he loved it all.
His love for the outdoors
was infectious, with everyone around him swept away by his zeal and happiness.
His competitive spirit made
him excel at everything as he always put 100% effort into what ever he had turned his mind to.
He had more windsurfs, surf
boards, bikes, skis and assorted other boy toys than anyone else I ever knew.
On one occasion, he was chastised
by a friend for spending so much money on windsurf equipment and toys and was told how he should invest wisely in property
and the stock market. Ross, in his own inimitable way, just smiled and said for now he was happy with his off-shore investments.
You see for Ross, growing
old was inevitable but growing up was optional.
Our motto used to be “he
who died with the most toys wins”. We’ve now changed that mate - “he
who dies with the most friends wins” – you won.
There are so many things
that Ross did well, but looking back, there was one thing that Ross sometimes stumbled with. That was his communication skills
with our European neighbours.
I remember one incident when
we were in Italy last year.
Ross was driving the hire
car back to the airport along a toll road but had forgotten to pick up a ticket to prove how far he had travelled.
When confronted by the Italian
ticket officer at the next booth, Ross rolled down the window, smiled his broadest, cheekiest grin, threw up his arms and
“No Ticketto. Spaghetti,
Ravioli. Carbonara. No Ticketto”
Obviously the ticket chap
had no idea what Ross was on about and Ross couldn’t understand what he was yelling back.
He just kept grinning his
trade-mark smile and gesticulated back wildly.
By this time, a long queue
of irate Italian drivers had started honking their horns behind us and the poor ticket officer had no choice but to let us
through without charge!
Ross’ greatest love
was of course his family and Kate.
We all here know what a large
part Kate has played in Ross’ life over the last 7 years.
Over the years their relationship
has grown and developed as has their love and mutual understanding for each other.
With her, we have seen Ross
mature from a boisterous youth into a soppy man.
Their home in Plymouth is
a true marriage of his boys toys and her pink things and it is a warm, inviting and happy home.
Ross was always so loving
and generous to Kate and it was the little things that made him so special to her.
He delighted in looking after
her. Making her sandwiches everyday. Ensuring he used her favourite pink lunch box and always inspecting it on her return
to make sure she had eaten all her fruit.
He allowed her to use all
his cupboard space for her hundreds of clothes and shoes and even gave her the lion’s share of the suitcase when they
went on their numerous holidays together.
Ross never wanted to be far
away from Kate.
His love for her was evident
from the numerous phone calls he made and text messages he sent her everyday.
He was always there to give
her a kiss and a reassuring cuddle when ever she needed it.
And when she was feeling
particularly stressed or down, he would bury her head under his T-shirt, bringing her closer to him and shielding her from
Kate, I am sure that if he
could, he would be doing just that today.
For Ross was the most generous,
kind and gentle person I have ever known.
Despite his many successes,
he remained grounded, modest and ego-less throughout.
I know how proud Pete, Min
and Angie are of all the incredible things he has achieved.
His overwhelming positive
outlook on life and ‘carpe diem’ attitude was an inspiration to us all.
Whenever we couldn’t
keep up with him on bike rides or when skiing, he would always wait for us, never impatient, always encouraging us to push
ourselves that little bit more.
He made friends effortlessly,
with his easygoing nature, charisma and great sense of humour.
More importantly, he realised
the great value of friendship and would go to great lengths to remain in contact with his friends, no matter where in world
he or they may be.
He always had time for his
friends and was always pleased to see them. No matter how long it had been between meetings, things slipped back into the
old ways effortlessly with Ross.
It was the simple things
that gave Ross the most pleasure.
Spending time with family
Having a bacon sandwich on
the beach after a glorious day windsurfing.
Opening his presents on Christmas
morning with a cold glass of champagne on his lap.
Ross adored Christmas and
I will always have fond memories of spending my Christmases at Dale Farm with Ross and Kate, Pete and Min and Angie and Joe.
For Ross, every single day
was an adventure, a day to be savoured.
Words pale in the shadow
of our grief and they seem insufficient to encompass the breadth of the life Ross led.
Ross’ truest testimony
is in the way he lived his life and the multitudes of family, friends and colleagues he touched with his light.
I would like to end by giving
thanks for the life of a man, who in his own way affected each and every one of us and whom I am proud to call my best friend.
Ross, you are a loyal, honest
and true friend.
You are a unique and extraordinary
individual and though you are gone, the burning passion you had for life, will never be extinguished from our hearts and our
Vikram Vijayan30th June 2006