MEDICINE

Dr. Ferdinand S. Leacock, retired army surgeon who served in the Vietnam War, dies – Baltimore Sun

Dr. Ferdinand S. Leacock, a retired thoracic and cardiovascular surgeon who served as a field surgeon during the Vietnam War, died of multiple myeloma at his home in Pikesville on October 5. he was 88 years old.

“Everyone I knew who met him loved him not just because he was a doctor, but because he was a human being. Dr. Samuel Ross, retired, has worked closely with Dr. Leacock.In 2004, he retired as a surgeon and worked as a medical advisor at the Bon Secours Hospital.

“[Dr. Leacock] His approach was that of a distinguished and stately gentleman, academic but always with a sense of humor. ”

Former administrator of Provident Hospital in Baltimore, Howard T. Jessamy was not only a colleague, but a longtime friend of 39 years.

“He was well liked by his colleagues and patients,” Jessamy said. “He was a calm and rational person. He was an efficient and effective doctor.”

Ferdinand St. Aubin Leacock was the son of immigrant parents. His father, Ferdinand S. Leacock Sr., was a merchant seaman and was often separated from his family. His mother, Sylvia V. Alkins his Leacock, was a licensed midwife in Barbados.

Dr. Leacock was born in New York City. When his mother was not allowed to work as a midwife in Manhattan, she took a job as a seamstress in a garment factory. She sought better child care for her son and sent her son to live with her mother in Barbados.

After graduating from Harrison College High School in Christ Church, Barbados, he returned to New York City and attended Columbia College, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1956.

He received his medical degree from Howard University School of Medicine in 1960, completed a General Surgery residency at the former Fort Howard Veterans Affairs Hospital, and completed both Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery residencies at what is now the University of Maryland Medical Center. Did.

During his junior year at Columbia, he met and fell in love with former Yvonne Smith, a Barnard College student whom he had met in a religion class. They got married in 1968.

Dr. Leacock served in the Army as a Captain from 1965 to 1967. After serving as a general surgeon at Valley Forge General Hospital in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, he was sent to Vietnam in 1967 as a field surgeon assigned to the 18th Surgical Hospital. Pleiku.

In 2017, Dr. Leacock received a letter from Retired Army Major Roy Dean. Roy Dean treated him during the war and eventually found the man who saved his life after searching military records kept in St. Louis.

“On March 3, 1967, you were given the task of receiving me at the 18th Surgical Hospital in Pleiku. and damaged several ribs,” Major Dean wrote. “For four days, every time I woke up, I saw your face and saw your hands work their magic to make my body better…For 50 years, I’ve been reminded of who you are.” I’ve seen your face and hands without knowing it…I want to say thank you for saving my life.”

“The letter arrived in 2017. We called him right away so the two could have a chat,” Mrs. Leacock said. “Vietnam was a very traumatic time. When he got home, he threw everything in a box.”

After being discharged in 1967, he completed his residency in Thoracic Surgery at what is now the University of Maryland Medical Center in 1969 and was appointed Chief of Surgery at the former Provident Hospital on Liberty Heights Avenue.

From 1972 to 1976, he was Assistant Professor of Surgery at the Charles R. Drew Graduate School of Medicine in Los Angeles, and concurrently Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine.

From 1981 to 1985, Dr. Leacock was a Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery at Meharry College of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee.

After several surgical positions at Los Angeles County Martin Luther King, Jr. General Hospital, Dr. Leacock returned to Baltimore in 1987 and was appointed Chief of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at Bon Secours Hospital. Currently at the University of Maryland Medical Center he has a Midtown Campus of Thoracic Surgery.

From 1990 to 1992, he was vice president of medical affairs at the former Liberty Medical Center and from 1992 to 1999 he was chief of surgery at the hospital. He also continued to perform private surgeries until his retirement in 2004.

“Personally, he gave me good advice and guidance,” Jessamy said. “He was also a mentor to me.”

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Dr. Leacock retired from Bon Secours Hospital in 2015, where he has been a medical advisor since 2004.

Some of his most meaningful journeys around the world were pilgrimages to the Holy Land, organized and led by the Reverend Wendell H. Phillips, Pastor of Heritage United Church, who baptized Dr. Leacock in the Jordan River. .

“He was not a member of the church, but he accompanied me to Bible studies and retreats,” said his wife.

Dr. Leacock was an active member of the Sigma Pi Phi fraternity. He was also “a fierce competitor on the tennis court and at the card table, and played bid whist,” his wife said. “He preferred tough opponents and loved winning.” ”

A memorial service will be held on November 5 at 2:00 pm at the March Life Tribute Center at 5616 Old Court Road in Randallstown.

In addition to his 64-year-old wife, former executive director of Hope Support Center, Dr. Leacock has three sons. Mount his Keith Leacock in Vernon, Stephen Leacock in Pikesville and Kent his Leacock in Oakland, California. daughter, Adrian Leacock of Oakland, California; and three grandchildren.

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