Renowned Child Heart Surgeon Commits Suicide

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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   chad75
    Can you copy/paste the story? I really don't want to have to sign up for an AoL account to read the story.
  4. by   Spidey's mom
    http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial...27/1063926.asp

    Heart surgeon whose work was on TV commits suicide
    By JAY HUGHES
    Associated Press
    12/27/2004

    Click to view larger picture

    Associated Press
    Dr. Jonathan Drummond-Webb, left, hugs Travis Marcus, 14, whom the surgeon implanted with a miniature heart pump.



    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Dr. Jonathan Drummond-Webb, a heart surgeon whose work was the focus of a four-part television series and who successfully implanted a life-saving miniature heart pump in a child, was found dead Sunday of a suicide. He was 45.
    Drummond-Webb took an overdose of medication and left a note for his wife, who discovered the body, according to Arkansas Children's Hospital. The hospital said friends believe the surgeon suffered a sudden bout of depression.

    Dr. Jonathan Bates, chief executive officer of Arkansas Children's Hospital, said Drummond-Webb worked tirelessly to save his patients.

    "Some would say they saved 98 out of 100," Bates said Sunday. "He looked at it and said, "I lost two out of 100.' "

    Drummond-Webb, chief of pediatric and congenital cardiac surgery at the hospital, earned a national reputation. In 2002, his work was the subject of a four-part ABC News documentary miniseries. The network had said it was attracted by Drummond-Webb's record at the time: 830 surgeries in 18 months with a 2 percent mortality rate.

    In September, Drummond-Webb performed the first successful implant of a miniature heart pump in a 14-year-old boy with a heart defect, keeping him alive until a heart transplant was possible. The teen, Travis Marcus, was released from the hospital Thursday.

    Travis' father, Rick Marcus, said the family talked to Drummond-Webb by telephone on Christmas and nothing seemed wrong.

    "He was wonderful to the kids. The kids meant everything to him," Marcus said. "You don't expect someone with that kind of vitality won't be with us anymore."

    He said his son was devastated by word of the death and had ended the Christmas Day conversation by saying, "I'll see you, boss," his nickname for Drummond-Webb.

    In 2002, Drummond-Webb said the only reason he allowed ABC's cameras to follow him around for the four-part series on its
    "Primetime" news show was to get the message out about organ donation.

    Only last week, the surgeon told the Associated Press: "This is a high-risk business. We see children walking out. We also see children who do not make it."
  5. by   Mystery5
    He must have suffered depression. It happens to well known people too...
  6. by   jnette
    How very, very sad and tragic... and what a loss.

    I cannot begin to imagine the stress these surgeons are under.. especially those involved with children. Seems to magnify the stress and urgency a thousand fold.

    I can WELL imagine how easy it would become to fall into a depression when feeling inadequate to save them ALL... how sad that he saw the cup half empty as opposed to half FULL when considering his success rate with his patients... my goodness 98% saves are amazing !

    Such a shame.. how many more lives could he have saved... and how tragic for his loved ones, and the patients he laboured so hard to help survive.. only to then take his own life?

    Difficult to accept and comprehend.
  7. by   begalli
    This is sad.

    Life can be so fragile.
  8. by   KrisRNwannabe
    i am in utter shock. I watched those shows on Discovery Health and thought he was a wonderful human. i remember during the show he had been diagnoised with some type of cancer. i wonder if that may have played a part in some way. either way he was a gifted doctor and will sadly be missed.
  9. by   Andie-mom&student
    Hello, I havn't posted in a long time, been so busy with school and work and kids. I just got on the computer a few minutes ago and I couldn't beleive that Dr Jonathon Drummond -Webb was gone. I always watched the Lifeline series with him in it, and how he battled cancer while doing the job he loved. I was so impressed with how he gave so much of himself to his job, and how he loved the children he cared for. How I wish he could of found help for himself. It makes me sad. The medical community lost a good one.
  10. by   oramar
    Oh dear, I feel so sad about this.
  11. by   ERNurse752
    Quote from chad75
    Can you copy/paste the story? I really don't want to have to sign up for an AoL account to read the story.

    Looks like someone beat me to it. Didn't know one had to be an AOL member to view the link.
  12. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    Quote from Andie-mom&student
    Hello, I havn't posted in a long time, been so busy with school and work and kids. I just got on the computer a few minutes ago and I couldn't beleive that Dr Jonathon Drummond -Webb was gone. I always watched the Lifeline series with him in it, and how he battled cancer while doing the job he loved. I was so impressed with how he gave so much of himself to his job, and how he loved the children he cared for. How I wish he could of found help for himself. It makes me sad. The medical community lost a good one.
    We saw this series too. He was an enchanting and unusual individual--we don't know from a surgeon's skill, but you could feel the goodness of this man.

    Here is a link to a bit of other info about him. (http://www.archildrens.org/medical_s...rgicalteam.asp) I just googled his name and came up with all sorts of stuff.

    I did recall that he was shocked to have been diagnosed with cancer. Perhaps he was nearing the end of a fight with that. How very sad for the world, for his family, and for him.

    Godspeed, Doc.
  13. by   Spidey's mom
    I had never heard of him. Sounds like an amazing man - overcommitted though. Too selfless.

    What kind of cancer did he have?

    steph
  14. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    Quote from stevielynn
    I had never heard of him. Sounds like an amazing man - overcommitted though. Too selfless.

    What kind of cancer did he have?

    steph
    Don't remember what kind of cancer he had.

    I remember thinking, this guy could not possibly have much of a life, but he did. He ran regularly, worked out, and had a good marriage.

    There never are simple answers, are there.

    sigh.

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