Averil Mansfield CBE was born in Blackpool in 1937, where she grew up in a council house. Even in becoming a doctor, she was achieving against the odds. But her desire from the age of eight was to go further still and work as a surgeon; a goal she was delighted to achieve in 1972. Based in Liverpool, Averil was the UK's first ever female vascular surgeon; she went on to become the first female professor of surgery too. She has since been awarded a number of honorary titles and prizes, including a CBE in 1999 and an NHS Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018. Now widowed, she lives in London.