- Joanna Lyall
- London, UK
Margaret Hodson, who has died aged 79, witnessed great improvements in the treatment of cystic fibrosis (CF) and was relentless in her pursuit of them.
When CF was first described in 1938, patients usually died in their first year of life. Now the estimated median age of survival is close to 50 years.1
Research, teaching, patient care
Former colleagues at the Royal Brompton Hospital, which Hodson joined in 1972 and where she spent the rest of her career, recall an equal commitment to research—she was an author on more than 300 papers—teaching, and care of patients. “Everything she did was to 200%,” said Pallav Shah, professor of respiratory medicine at the Royal Brompton. “She organised many clinical trials with persistence and showed great empathy to patients and their families, as well as the doctors she was teaching.”
Duncan Geddes, emeritus professor of respiratory medicine, who co-edited four editions of the textbook Cystic Fibrosis with Hodson, remembers her “absolute doggedness” in pursuit of what she wanted. In the 1980s this was for patients to be deemed suitable for transplants by pioneer Magdi Yacoub. “I think she simply nagged …