Tragic Walsall runner named as doctor Devadas Pillay

By Alex Ross | Walsall | News | Published:

A runner who died at a race in the Black Country has been named.

Dr Devadas Pillay

Dr Devadas Ganesh 'Das' Pillay collapsed and died at the Walsall Run on September 24.

Dr Pillay, aged 51, lived in Penns Lane in Sutton Coldfield.

He was in Argyle Road, competing in the 5k race, when he suffered a heart attack.

St John Ambulance provided treatment, but the man was pronounced dead.

Black Country Coroners' office said he died of natural causes. No inquest was held.

Around 500 people took part in the race, which was in memory of Dr Sam Ramaiah, who was the director of public health at Walsall Council.

He died aged 62 from a heart attack.


This week, tributes have been paid to Dr Pillay, who worked as a consultant medical microbiologist in Birmingham.

He had worked at Good Hope Hospital, Heartland Hospital and for Public Health England.

Dr Abid Hussain, clinical lead for microbiology at Heartlands Hospital, said: "Das was a beacon in our department.

"He was an innovator of infection management, and his skills of presentation and persuasion allowed a fundamental shift in how we practice our speciality today.


"As a leading light in antibiotic stewardship, his influence extended locally and nationally ultimately culminating in the receipt of the Public Health England Antiobiotic Guardian Award in 2017.

"We have lost a mentor, a guide and a good friend. Our department is the poorer for his loss."

Professor Peter Hawkey, professor of microbiology and head of department during the tenure of Dr Pillay, said: "Dr Das Pillay will be sorely missed by his colleagues and friends at Heartlands Hospital.

"He was devoted to treating patients with infection and often made a really significant difference to their outcome.

"He brought tremendous energy, enthusiasm and experience, rooted in his work in South Africa, to the many difficult cases we encounter regularly.

"His work on the appropriate use of antibiotics both at Heartlands and more widely across Birmingham will be particularly difficult to replace.

"As a colleague he was always excellent company with an impish sense of humour."

Alex Ross

By Alex Ross
Investigations Editor - @alexross_star

Investigations Editor at the Express & Star. Everyone has a story - tell me yours.


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