Tributes paid to “talented and loveable” dentist from Norwich

The family of a popular dentist who died following a crash on the A47 have paid tribute to a bright and loving mother.

Vrushali Patil, suffered serious head injuries in the collision on May 3 and died from her injuries in Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge on Monday.

The 34-year-old, who worked in Swaffham, had been driving home to Eaton, near Norwich, when the crash happened at Honingham and had previously phoned her six-year-old daughter to say she was setting off.

Paying tribute to his wife yesterday, Dr Charak Patil, 39, said: 'She was very much respected and loved as a dentist in the community, particularly among children and the elderly. She was very hard working and passed her dental exams on her first attempt.

'Vrushali was very well known in the Swaffham area and very highly appreciated. She spoke to her daughter before leaving the office and had been very cheerful.'

Dr Patil was originally from India and moved to the UK in early 2003, but had remained very close to the family she left behind.

Her father, Arun Deshmukh, said he would speak to his daughter and granddaughter every day using Skype.

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'She would be cooking and she never felt very far away from us. It was always like she was just in the next room,' Mr Deshmukh, 60, said. 'We don't want to miss her, we want her to be kept in our hearts.'

Dr Patil had hoped to specialise in children's dentistry and last year started a four-year correspondence course with King's College in London. She managed to juggle working full-time with studying and motherhood and enjoyed swimming and badminton.

'She was getting very good marks and was very intelligent,' her husband added. 'She will be remembered as a very good dentist and a very good human being.'

Dr Patil had been with John Holmes Dental Surgery in The Pightle, Swaffham, for three years and had been happy working at the practice.

Last night, her colleagues said: 'The staff are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of a very talented dentist and lovable work colleague. We were touched by her expertise, her humour, and her compassion. She leaves a very big void at the practice and will be missed by all the staff and her patients.'

Dr Patil's family would like to thank staff at Addenbrooke's and their police family liaison officer for all her support.

The funeral arrangements are still being finalised, but the service is expected to be held in Cambridge next week, with close family only in attendance.

Police are appealing for witnesses to the crash, which happened at about 5.15pm on May 3. Dr Patil was driving a grey Toyota Yaris towards Norwich when it was in collision with a white VW campervan close to the Sandy Lane turning. The campervan driver, a 66-year-old man from Leicester, died at the scene.

Call the serious collision investigation team on 0845 456 4567.