It is with deep sadness that we mourn the passing of Sarah Mitchell after a long battle with breast cancer. Sarah was a Consultant Paediatrician at King Edward Memorial Hospital and Princess Margaret Hospital (KEMH/PMH) in Perth, Western Australia.
Sarah was born in England on 15 March 1966. She studied medicine at the University of London, graduating in 1991, and subsequently undertook postgraduate paediatric and neonatal training in London, Sydney and Perth. She developed her interest in neonatal retrievals while working for the Neonatal Emergency Transport Service in New South Wales. She returned to Australia in 2002 as a Senior Registrar in neonatal and paediatric intensive care at KEMH/PMH, where her excellent clinical acumen, compassion and commitment led to her promotion to Consultant status in 2006.
Sarah and her husband Steve loved to travel, and visited 35 countries during their 17 years together. It was probably her love of travel and adventure that attracted Sarah to specialise in neonatal retrievals. This ultimately led to her appointment as Director of the WA Neonatal Transport Service, which was perhaps her greatest professional achievement. She had a clear vision for neonatal retrievals in WA, and the innovations she was developing are destined to transform the way the service functions for many years to come.
Sarah has always been held in high esteem by all her colleagues. Despite the ever increasing intrusion of her illness and its treatment on her life, she carried on working, always remaining her usual calm, caring, competent and professional self. She also continued to participate in triathlons. She was optimistic despite adversity, and led by example with her dedication and commitment to neonatal practice in WA.Sarah was still working right up until 2 weeks before her death on 22 May 2008, providing support and mentorship to others. Her strength, resilience and determination were an inspiration to her colleagues.Sarah will be remembered as someone who lived life to the full, and was totally committed to life with her husband Steve and to the young patients in her professional care.
Publication of your online response is subject to the Medical Journal of Australia's editorial discretion. You will be notified by email within five working days should your response be accepted.