Marta Krawiec, who has died aged 41 after being involved in a traffic collision as she cycled to work at the Evelina London children’s hospital, was a paediatric doctor and child allergist. She had moved to London from Warsaw to develop her career in child health.
Born in 1980 in Kielce, southern Poland, to Ewa and Adam Krawiec, Marta grew up in Skierniewice, attending the Bolesław Prus high school and, after school each day, the Fryderyk Chopin State Music School in Sochaczew. She then trained at the Medical University of Warsaw and completed a PhD there on the treatment of asthma and rhinitis in children.
In 2006 she began working as a doctor at the public paediatric teaching hospital in Warsaw, where she obtained her qualifications. But London, which was fast becoming a European leader in this field of medicine, soon became her goal.
In 2016, Marta joined King’s College London and Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals, taking a leading research role in allergy prevention and diagnostic trials with infants and children. Within two years she was appointed paediatric allergology consultant.
At the height of the pandemic, Marta’s increased workload did not stop her volunteering as a participant in the Oxford vaccine trials and as a clinician in the Covid-19 wards. To get to her patients safely, she borrowed an old bicycle from her landlord. Cycling suited Marta’s outlook; it also became a source of joy to her, giving her the freedom to experience the sights and sounds of London.
At the heart of Marta’s intellectual achievements was a simple curiosity about people and places. My daughter, aged 10, was one of her first patients in London. Marta spoke with such excitement about her new home, and her plans to see as much of it as possible, that my daughter drew a coloured map and presented it to her on her second visit. On occasion, when the ward was quieter, she would play the piano with my daughter.
Her partner Raph, whom she met in London, said: “Hundreds of children across London lead better lives because of Marta. But the city that she served and loved could not keep her safe.” She was the fifth cyclist in eight years to be killed at Holborn junction, and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS foundation trust has called for action.
At St Pancras Old church, where she worshipped regularly, the congregation knew that she was not only a brilliant doctor, but also compassionate and gentle. Her research team at Evelina London are determined to carry on her legacy.
Marta is survived by Raph, her parents and her siblings Tomasz, Aleksandra and Ewa.