5 Feb 2021
It is with great sadness that we hear of the passing of Professor Howard Bird, who has done so much for the hypermobile community.
The HMSA teams have all been saddened to hear of the passing last week of Professor Howard Bird, former HMSA Board Member, Medical Advisor, colleague and friend. Lead Medical Advisor Dr. Philip Bull said that "Howard was strongly supportive of the HMSA over the years and contributed hugely to the publications in this area, for example, his contributions to our website have been helpful for many. On a personal note, we shared a strong interest in hypermobile musicians and performers and how best to help them, particularly with his links with the Northern School of contemporary dance. He will be greatly missed."
Our Journal Editor, Claire Smith added that ‘Howard was a lovely man, always prepared to share knowledge and provide details of his research for our HMSA Journal and other publications. I still hear, from those who are newly diagnosed and have only recently discovered his past papers on the effect of hormones on hypermobility. I know how invaluable his contributions to the community have been, and will continue to be. Howard was kind, approachable and cared greatly about the hypermobile community. He and his specialist input will be greatly missed by the editorial team.'
Chair, Hannah Ensor was among patient members to express gratitude and sadness on hearing the news. 'His work on hormones and hypermobility has been literally life-changing for so many of us' while other members of the team described him as 'one of the good ones' with 'a kind, open soul' who listened with intent and acted with integrity. His work remains among the most requested of all our resources, across all platforms. We refer to his insights daily, they've had an immense impact on many of the team, and those who contact us.
The Professor's pioneering work on the relationship between hormones and hypermobility, their impact on connective tissue, the advancement of Rheumatology Nursing practise, and the general understanding of hypermobility in sport and the performing arts has and will continue to be life-changing to countless people and organisations. His contagious laugh and ready smile made him a beloved favourite among delegates at our conferences. He was a genuinely lovely man whose influence and legacy extends far beyond his work, and we are profoundly thankful to have known him. His full obituary is here