We have been informed of the tragic loss of our dear colleague Dr Rahimullah Hamid as a result of contracting Covid 19.
Testimony of his friend Nich Woolf:
“His training in medicine was all unpaid for. He would work as a cleaner and then be tutored at night. He wanted proper medicine for Afghanistan. He would run his ward rounds in English and get me to correct their grammar if they deviated in any way. My grammar was never good enough. His students loved him. He never shouted and always had time to explain. He had no time for politicians and absolutely hated corruption. Would always blow up balloons for children and never minded how long it took to distract a child.”
Dr Hamid was a unique figure in Orthopaedic Surgery in Afghanistan.
He has changed to the better the life of thousands of patients, especially children suffering from DDH.
His humanity, dedication to helping others and his ethos have distinguished him and will be terribly missed by all of us.
Rahimullah was certainly an exceptional surgeon in all senses of the word. I suppose that there are more than 1,000 children walking around as a memorial to a great human being.
It is a massive loss to his family, his patients and for the whole country of Afghanistan.
I feel blessed to have known Rahimullah Hamid and counted him as a good friend. We traded many text messages over the past few years, with him sending images of complex cases that he needed advice on, and me texting back my recommendations, while wondering how he was going to actualize my conmplex plans under his austere working conditions. Invariably, he texted me back his post-op films, which were astonishingly accurate regarding the reductions and corrections achieved.
Many foreign specialists whose paths crossed with Rahimullah were impressed with his potential and invested in his education. In the USA, we arranged for a POSNA COURS scholarship to allow him to attend POSNA, BLDC, and SIGN conferences. Alas, the US State Department did not grant a visa, so those visits did not materialize. Nonetheless, Dr. Rahimullah, an autodidact, became very facile with the SIGN nail system, and circular external fixation, including the TSF. Rahimullah did over 1,000 open reductions of DDH cases, all under very limited conditions, absent any image intensification. He was truly a master surgeon, and also a great human being. He and his wife adopted a baby girl born with cleft lip (delivered by Rahimullah’s wife, an obstetrician) after the parents abandoned the child. Rahimullah’s death is a great loss for the children and adults in Afghanistan who benefited from his expertise, his kindness, and his willingness to treat every one, regardless of ability to pay.