Materia Medica Malaysiana

May 25, 2007

Eye doctor with a big heart

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:07 am

NST: KUALA LUMPUR: Every Sunday at 5am, he would leave his Bukit Tunku home to treat poor patients in rural areas. He was determined that if he could save someone’s sight, he would do it.
Datuk Dr Keshmahinder Singh was known for his compassion and his big heart.
He did not charge the elderly and those who could not afford to pay for treatment.
Dr Keshmahinder died on Wednesday. He was 85 years old.
He was one of the country’s foremost opthamologists and left a lasting impression on both those who worked with him and his former patients.
The former executive director of the Malaysian Association for the Blind, Winnie Ng, remembered him for his sincerity in helping the poor.
“He would travel in his mobile clinic to reach out to the marginalised.
“He was a very caring and compassionate person, especially to the poor. He had a great volunteer spirit.”
Mabel Marbeck, a former patient, said Dr Keshmahinder did not charge the poor and elderly patients she brought to his Jalan Dang Wangi clinic.
He was soft-spoken but strict when it came to work, said William Brohier, who had known Dr Keshmahinder professionally for the past 40 years.
“He was a man of integrity, a no-nonsense man,” he said.
He was one of the movers in the setting up of the Tun Hussein Onn National Eye Hospital in 1986, and donated all his equipment to the hospital when he closed his clinic.
He served as its executive director after his retirement in 1988, leaving the eye hospital in 1990.
Among the many important contributions he made to the development of eye care here was to mine his international contacts to bring top opthamologists from all over the world to share their knowledge.
He was also a sociable man and his home was often filled with laughter as he offered hospitality to his family and many friends.
“Although he was busy with his work, he still had time for his family, relatives and friends” said his daughter and only child, Jaspreet Gill.
With no grandchildren of his own, Dr Keshmahinder delighted in spending time with his great-nephews and nieces.
He was admitted to Pantai Medical Centre three weeks ago where he died of natural causes.
Though ill health had prevented him from seeing many of his old friends for a number of years, they came to his home yesterday in the hundreds to pay their last respects.
He is survived by his wife, Datin Balbir, and Jaspreet.

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