TRIBUTES have been paid to a doctor — regarded as “the gentleman of obstetrics” — who delivered thousands of WA babies.
Dr Glenn Lewis died suddenly last week from a heart attack, leaving behind not only a grieving family but also the “maternity family” at St John of God Subiaco and Mt Lawley hospitals, as well as the families whose lives he touched.
Perth mothers, many of whom had multiple children delivered by Dr Lewis, took to social media to express their shock and sadness.
Dr Lewis practised as an obstetrician and gynaecologist for more than 20 years at SJOG in Subiaco and Mt Lawley (previously Mercy Hospital) after doing his training at King Edward Memorial Hospital. He also practised at Osborne Park Hospital up until 10 years ago.
He leaves behind his wife Dr Julie Hammond who was his theatre assistant, a son James, daughter Georgia and granddaughter Adele.
“He was an exceptional person. Kind, caring, generous and all the other adjectives used to describe him,” Dr Hammond said.
“On top of that he really was exceptionally good at what he did and I’m aware of the good fortune I had to share my life with someone who was as fulfilled by his work as Glenn was. He was also completely dedicated to us and his parents.”
On social media, a Wembley Downs mother posted Dr Lewis was “an incredible doctor and will be such a loss to the women of WA and to the teaching others”, another wrote: “We’d been looking forward to our six week check-up to be able to express our gratitude for all that you have done for us. You left a big impression on our lives and you will never be forgotten”.
A funeral service held at St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Subiaco on Friday was attended by hundreds of family and friends, colleagues and parents.
Australian Medical Association national president Dr Michael Gannon, who worked with Dr Lewis in Perth for 11 years, said Dr Lewis was an “unsung hero who touched the lives of thousands of Western Australians”.
“You could not meet a more generous colleague in terms of helping out and providing clinical support to colleagues,” Dr Gannon said. “His strength was in providing very personal care to his patients and nothing was too much trouble.”
Dr Donald Clark, who worked with Dr Lewis for almost his entire career, said he showed great compassion for his patients.
“He was very good with anxious patients and made what could be a very difficult time as easy as possible for them,” Dr Clark said.
Dr Melissa O’Neill, who is one of SJOG’s doctors now caring for Dr Lewis’ expectant mums, said Dr Lewis had died “well before his time and had so much to give”.
“Glenn was kind, gracious and generous and was an inspiration in that way,” she said.
“He cared so deeply for all his patients and that was reciprocal. He was one of our profession’s gentlemen.”