Belfast Telegraph

Alistair Gibson: ‘Gentle, helpful and an expert in his field’... colleagues and pet owners pay tribute to much-loved vet

Fond memories: Alistair Gibson
Fond memories: Alistair Gibson
Allan Preston

By Allan Preston

Tributes have been paid following the death of a respected Northern Ireland veterinary surgeon.

Alistair Gibson passed away suddenly on March 16 after previously receiving a heart transplant. His funeral took place yesterday.

Colleagues at Earlswood Veterinary on the Bloomfield Road in Belfast said they were "deeply saddened by the passing of our esteemed colleague and friend".

Posting a picture of Mr Gibson on social media, they said: "Over the last 13 years, Alistair has been of great influence at Earlswood, providing the team with invaluable knowledge, expertise and sense of humour.

"He will be sadly missed by all. Our deepest sympathy and thoughts are with Alistair's family."

A family notice said he was the son of the late Bertie and Esme, beloved husband to Jo, loving father of Jack and Angus and the dear brother of Catherine and David.

His funeral service took place at Roselawn Crematorium yesterday followed by a celebration of his life at the Culloden Estate and Spa in Holywood.

Donations in lieu of flowers have been requested for the Freeman Heart and Lung Transplant Association.

Many pet owners who Mr Gibson had helped over the years expressed their condolences on the Earlswood Facebook page.

"This kind gentleman rang to make sure my husband was home safely after he received worrying news about a dog, not many would have done it. Our thoughts are with his family and friends," one said.

Another commented: "He was so gentle and helpful treating Sophie our bichon who he thankfully has really helped and she is on the mend. Thoughts are with his family and colleagues."

A third grateful dog owner said: "Alistair looked after my dog Walter. He was such a pleasant, friendly man and his expertise in his field was incredible."

Others had known Mr Gibson as a patient in the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle Upon Tyne.

"I didn't know Alistair as a vet. I knew him from Freeman Hospital, we both got new hearts around the same time," one woman said. "I often wondered about him. I am so sorry to hear this."

A second said: "We met on Ward 24 while he and my husband were waiting for heart transplants together.

"Our prayers are with him and his family. The nicest guy anyone could meet."

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