Sam Galbraith, an exceptionally talented young neurosurgeon in Glasgow, was led by strong socialist values to seek a political career. Soon after election to Parliament in 1987 at 42 years old, he devloped a serious lung condition that required him to undergo a lung transplant and left him with limited health. Despite this, he went on to hold Ministerial posts, first in Westminster and then in the new Scottish Parliament. In government he abolished markets in the NHS in Scotland and, by highlighting the relation between deprivation and illness, he was able to achieve his ambition to make a difference to health on a large scale. When Sam died aged 68 he was the longest living survivor of a lung transplant. His story is told by colleagues, friends and family who, with humour and honesty, communicate their admiration and affection for a unique personality.