Raymond Doidge

AGE 73

LIVES Dorset

CAREER Handyman


Ray left Cornwall to complete his National Service. After demob, he worked at Bluebird Caravans in Poole for 22 years and then joined the local council, where he stayed until his retirement in 1999. Overall, Ray’s health has been good but he was diagnosed with diabetes in 2001, which he is controlling with medication.

In 2003 Ray was hospitalised with a broken foot and a suspected case of MRSA. A lot of the flesh in his ankle had to be stripped away and in 2004, a muscle from his stomach was grafted on to his foot, which has affected his mobility.


Ray never had any time for exercise but his jobs have always been physically demanding, which meant he has remained fit and strong. As a young boy growing up in Cornwall, Ray benefitted from a healthy, if meagre, diet of fresh fish and home-grown vegetables and has been “well looked after” by his wife. He has smoked since the age of 13 and currently smokes five cigarettes a day.

Doctor's notes

"Catching MRSA is bad news, particularly for someone who smokes. Smoking causes arteries to narrow and that reduces oxygen supply to the tissues, which could make a wound more vulnerable to infection. In Raymond’s case the diabetes could make it worse still because it also tends to damage arteries and reduce blood supply so that the tissues are less able to resist infection. Even at his age, if he were to stop smoking he would feel better and live longer."

Raymond's health tip

“If I thought they would listen, I’d tell my children not to drink or smoke.”

  • The Class of 1948 content, including this article, was written in 2008 to mark the 60th anniversary of the NHS and is not being updated.

Page last reviewed: 04/04/2014

Next review due: 04/04/2016


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The 1 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

Charmer said on 19 March 2011

Ray, I would seek a second opinion. There is no way the Doctor should be telling you that you will live longer if you stop smoking. They may say that you are MORE LIKELY to die later but to simply comment that increased risk definitely adds years to YOUR life is wrong. Doctors need to speak about risk and outcomes not simply state do 'A' and the result is 'B' unless they know there are no other outcomes.

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