Mon | Dec 11, 2017

'We truly lost a giant' - Medical fraternity mourns loss of gynaecology guru

Published:Wednesday | July 19, 2017 | 12:00 AMChristopher Serju

The medical community has been sent into shock and sadness by the death of consultant obstetrician-gynaecologist Vary Anetta Jones-Leslie, 62, who died in the Cayman Islands Hospital yesterday. She was struck down by a taxi after deplaning.

"I've received so many phone calls. The entire medical community, both here and our colleagues in Grand Cayman, have been moved to tears. It is really very sad to consider that she's given so many years of service to us here in Jamaica and elsewhere, having taught so many of our own gynaecologists and obstetricians, and then less than 24 hours after arriving in Cayman, she was struck down," Dr Myrton Smith, president of the Medical Association of Jamaica (MAJ), told The Gleaner.

 

A VERY POPULAR FIGURE

 

The well-loved consultant, who was mowed down outside the Owen Roberts International Airport yesterday shortly after landing, was a very popular figure at Spanish Town Hospital in St Catherine. She retired from government service last year, but was still in high demand and was always highly regarded, according to the MAJ president.

"It's actually quite sad and many of our colleagues have been unable to function. I know some of her colleagues had to close office; they just couldn't cope, couldn't work, because she's been a very integral part to the medical community for years, for decades. So we are extremely moved and we extend our condolences to her immediate family and her closest friends.

"We truly lost a giant in the field of obstetrics and gynaecology."

Smith, who seemed to be struggling to maintain composure during the telephone interview, was clearly affected personally, even as he spoke on behalf of colleagues.

"She would have taught and mentored many of the younger obstetricians and gynaecologists here in Jamaica, so it truly is a great loss and we felt it. It rippled right throughout the entire medical fraternity," he admitted.

"If you know Cayman, where it happened is an area where there shouldn't really have been any speeding and the visibility is usually quite good. So you know one cannot really understand how it could have happened."

christopher.serju@gleanerjm.com