Tears for Lancashire children’s doctor who ‘was a friend to all’

Dr. Sukhbir Dhanjal
Dr. Sukhbir Dhanjal
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Tributes have been paid to a doctor “who seemed to be everyone’s best friend”.

Dr Sukhbir Kaur Dhanjal, who has died aged 70, spent 30 years working in paediatrics and family planning in the Bamber Bridge, Preston, Leyland and Coppull areas and often went into schools to carry out immunisations.

Her daughter Richa Dhanjal, 38, a GP, said: “She got to know so many people. “What overwhelmed me was that on the day she passed, we had 50 phone calls off her friends and colleagues.

“So many people said she was their best friend and I wondered how that could be, but it was because she always made the effort to see them.

“She was extremely sociable, she’d go out to all the weddings and events even though she was on her own, even if it was dark and she was a bit worried.

“She’d be the first one up dancing, she always had a kind word to say, she was upbeat and optimistic, never any nastiness about her.”

Dr Dhanjal was born and raised in the Lucknow area of India, near to the Golden Temple, and studied at medical school in the country.

She moved to England just over 36 years ago when her late husband, Sarabjit Dhanjal began training to become a GP.

The family spent one year living in accommodation at Fazackeley Hospital in Liverpool before moving to Leyland, then Euxton.

Richa added: “Mum originally wanted to be a GP herself and did the training, but it wasn’t to be, there were too many at that time. Instead she got into paediatrics and family planning and she was very passionate about it.

“She always adored kids. I have a beautiful photo of her in her white doctors coat with a baby in her arms. She’s smiling and the baby is beaming.”

Dr Dhanjal was a talented cook, knitter and gardener.

Despite becoming increasingly ill over the past three years due to rheumatoid arthritis which affected her lungs, she continued to work until October.

She died peacefully in her sleep in Chorley Hospital on January 14, leaving Richa, younger daughter Gagan, son-in-law Charles and 15 month old grandson Calvin.

A funeral service will be held at noon on Saturday, January 24 at Preston Gurdwara Sikh Temple.