Papworth Heroes

Margaret Hamilton-Smith

Senior Theatre Nurse
Integral to the developments of cardiac and transplant surgery at Papworth Hospital.

Margaret Hamilton-Smith undertook her nursing training at Perth Royal Infirmary and her midwifery training at the Simpson Memorial Maternity Hospital, Edinburgh. Whilst working in Australia and New Zealand, she started her career in theatre nursing. On her return to the UK, she became increasingly interested in cardiac surgery and was appointed a Sister in theatres at Papworth Hospital in 1971.

During the 1970s, routine cardiac surgery was gradually increasing at Papworth Hospital but it was after surgeon Sir Terence English joined that the field of work in heart transplantation gathered pace. Mrs Hamilton-Smith was part of the Retrieval Team sent to retrieve the donor organ for the first ever heart transplant which took place at Papworth Hospital.

Mrs Hamilton-Smith was later appointed as a Senior Theatre Nurse in 1983. She took early retirement in 1995 and then returned to take on a demanding role of a different nature in switchboard where she worked for a further 16 years.