Respected Wagga anaesthetist Peter Skinner has died at the age of 75, with colleagues and friends paying tribute to a man with a “Puckish humour and sharp mind”.
Dr Skinner was born in Stafford, UK, in 1942, and at the age of seven contracted poliomyelitis. His left leg recovered, but not his right, but surgery in 1953 improved his mobility.
Three years later, Dr Skinner’s father was hired on the Snowy Mountains scheme, so the family moved to Cooma. He worked in hospitals and as a GP before deciding on anaesthetics and taking up a position in the UK.
Dr Skinner started work in Wagga in January 1974 after a stint back in Sydney and was recognised for his skill with epidural, as well as paediatric, anaesthesia. He retired in 2002.
He also enjoyed gliding and bridge, by the early 2010s had to give up both due to Alzheimer’s disease, colleague Dr Ian Stewart said.
“We will miss his ‘Puckish’ humour and sharp mind,” Dr Stewart said
“When he was an anaesthetic registrar at Winchester, England, he claimed to have started and finished a Caesarian section during half time of an FA Cup final,” Dr John Currie remembered.
“Skin was the master of ‘keep it simple, stupid’ and an audit of day surgery once showed his patients were fit for discharge about 30 to 60 minutes faster than everyone else’s. He was very conscious of the need to give careful doses to frail elderly people,” Dr Judy Killen said.
“The thing that stood out for me was his love for his family. He always made time for his four children and their children – they were the light of his life,” Anna Robinson said.
Dr Skinner was the father and father in-law of Katie and Mark Bartlett, Fizzy and Andrew Crouch, Paul and Sarah Skinner, and Luke and Bronwyn Skinner. He was Grandpa to Joel, Chloe, Jake, Tom, Lucy, Charlotte, Joshua, Nicholas, Sebastien and Indy, a brother of Bernadette, Tony (who pre-deceased him),Tim and Mary, and former husband and friend of Margie Jones.