Roald Dahl’s doc visits school to launch book
PUBLISHED: 16:48 13 September 2016 | UPDATED: 16:27 14 September 2016
A doctor-turned-author who treated Roald Dahl toward the end of his life visited Simon Marks Primary School on Tuesday to celebrate what would have been the author’s 100th birthday.
Prof Tom Solomon, who was a junior doctor at Oxford when he met Dahl, has written a book about his experiences, titled Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Medicine.
Tom’s sister Penelope, a parent at the school, arranged for Tom to drop by, and it’s an experience he says he thoroughly enjoyed.
“Well, Penelope mentioned it to me and I wasn’t sure I was going to have the time,” he told the Gazette, “but I thought to myself: ‘How would he [Roald Dahl] be spending his 100th birthday?’
“And it was a fantastic decision. The school really is a little hidden gem in Hackney. There were enthusiastic teachers, bright students, and they really did ask some fantastic questions about Roald and my experiences with him.”
Tom says he shared hours on end talking with Dahl about medicine, a subject that fascinated the author.
And his interest in medicine was much more than just that.
“He was a pioneer when it came to medicine,” says Tom.
“When his wife had a stroke, the general consensus in the medical world was that there was nothing that could really be done. But he formulated a new way to look at and treat victims of strokes, and eventually nursed his wife back to health. And it was his work that laid the foundations for the Stroke Association to be formed.”
Tom, whose show about Roald Dahl carries the same title as the book, spent about an hour giving an assembly at the school, before a question and answer session with some Year 6 pupils.
“They grilled me for about half an hour,” he said.
“One of the questions was about my journey from doctor to author, and how that compared with Roald’s journey from author to doctor. It was great.”
Tom’s book went on sale on Tuesday, with all the proceeds going to charities close to Roald Dahl’s heart.
To find out more about the book, or to pick up a copy, visit: tomsolomon.co.uk or follow Tom on Twitter @RunningMadProf
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Hackney Gazette. Click the link in the orange box above for details.