Dr Alan Gilston

The world-renowned anaesthetist Dr Alan Gilston, who has died aged 77, anaesthetised the UK's first heart-transplant patient in 1968.

In a career spanning almost 50 years he established himself as the father of intensive care medicine and the foremost pioneer of modern anaesthetics.

Born in Leeds in 1928, he graduated from Leeds University in 1953, moving to London in 1967 to work at the National Heart Hospital where he became senior Consultant Anaesthetist.

In 1974 he established the Intensive Care Society and later initiated the First World Congress on Intensive and Critical Care Medicine (London 1974) and the World Federation of Societies of Intensive and Critical Care Medicine (1981).

He was honoured by the Intensive Care Society (UK) through the creation of the Gilston Lecture and Silver Medal, which has been received by a number of distinguished workers. He established the Retired Fellows Society of the Royal Society of Medicine in 1997 and occupied the position of chairman 1997-1999.

Dr Gilston was also elected Honorary or Life Member of five UK and foreign Societies.

Dr Gilston was also a prodigious inventor, both in medicine and at home.

Proud of his Jewish roots, he was the grandson of Israel Gitlesohn (Bradford's first shohet), originally from Lithuania.

Although his interests were wide his family were by far and away his greatest passion. Alan leaves behind his dedicated wife Avelina to whom he was married for 39 years and two sons; David (a fashion designer) and Rafael (a marketing consultant).