World Neurosurg. 2023 Mar 2 doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2023.02.044 [Epub ahead of print]
PMCID: PMC9978927PMID: 36894489
In Memorium: Neurosurgeons We Lost in 2022
Bipin Chaurasia,1,∗ Bhavya Pahwa,2 Abhidha Shah,3 Tho Vantha,4 Raushan Kumar Chaurasia,5 Batuk Diyora,6 Kanwaljeet Garg,7 Patricia Maggiora,8 Khemakhem Moez,9 Adnen Boubaker,10 Fernando Luiz Rolemberg Dantas,11 Renato Fedatto Beraldo,12 Ahmed Ragab AbdelSalam,13 Mahmoud Hamdy Fergany Ali,14 Mykhailo Tatarchuk,15 and Nasser M.F. El-Ghandour16
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More than 6 million people have died due to the COVID-19 pandemic including people from all walks of life, but predominantly health care workers lost their lives caring for the deceased. The world neurosurgical family lost some of its great members in the pandemic. The neurosurgical fraternity will miss them for their prolific clinical skills and outstanding research and always remember them. Some of them were young, but their determination and will to save the dying without thinking of themselves is an inspiration to all of us. These individuals are a true example of selflessness and altruism. While some cherished and experienced neurosurgeons have left us, we are fortunate to have known them and to pass on their legacy to the world and the younger generation of neurosurgeons. Herein, we pay our tribute to the neurosurgery heroes of 2022 (Table 1 ). We share their life stories and their contributions to neurosurgery.
Neurosurgeons Who Lost Their Lives in 2022
Name Date of Demise Country
Alejandra Rabadan January 12 Argentina
Bharat Kumar J. Damany January 26 India
Venugopal Subramaniam January 21 India
Fred Gentili January 15 Canada
Glenn W. Kindt January 20 USA
Nielson Araujo Gomes February 6 Brazil
José Antonio Maingué February 12 Brazil
Sonival Cândido Hunhevicz March 4 Brazil
Udit Singhal April 8 India
Nestor Renzi April 18 Argentina
Alaa Abdelhay May 13 Egypt
Durvalino Albertine Rocha June 13 Brazil
Emad Eldin Mahmoud Khattab July 24 Egypt
Justin Schultz Cetas July 14 USA
José Francisco Antonio de Souza July 19 Brazil
Igor Yssao Moreira Yamamura July 31 Brazil
Bhabani Shankar Das August 5 India
Jose Reinaldo Nogueira August 8 Brazil
Lynda Jun San Yang September 15 USA
Hassen Zaim September 21 Tunisia
Osama El-Ghannam October 14 Egypt
Antonio Carlos Ebling November 5 Brazil
Sem Mounty November 26 Cambodia
Sudeep Raj Singh December 14 Nepal
Moroz Victor Leonidovich December 14 Ukraine
Homi Dastur December 22 India
Anselmo Saturnino Teixeira December 23 Brazil
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Just like the first wave of COVID-19,1 2022 also saw the demise of many of the finest neurosurgeons. We have tried to include tributes for the individuals we are aware of, on behalf of all the world’s neurosurgeons. We apologize for any oversights.
Fred Gentili (1947–2022)
Dr. Fred Gentili was an internationally well-known neurosurgeon who died on Saturday, January 15, 2022, due to glioblastoma, ironically the tumor that he had treated in many of his patients. He was first operated on for the tumor by his colleague Dr. Gelareh Zadeh on June 10, 2021. Born in Sarnano, Italy, in 1947, Dr. Gentili graduated from the University of Toronto Medical School in 1972 and completed his training at the University of Toronto in 1980. He specialized in skull base surgery, invasive endoscopic surgery, pituitary surgery, and radiosurgery. He joined the neurosurgery staff at Toronto General Hospital and eventually was appointed as professor of surgery, professor of otolaryngology, and the director of the Skull Base Center at the University of Toronto and Director of Surgical Education, University Health Network. He was an esteemed professor in the Division of Neurosurgery at the Krembil Brain Institute affiliated to Toronto Western Hospital, University of Toronto. He authored more than 100 publications and more than 25 book chapters. He was also awarded the first World Federation of Skull Base Societies Gold Medal of Honor in 2021.
Bhabani Shankar Das (1936–2022)
Dr. Bhabani Shankar Das was born in colonial India in 1936 in Cuttack, Orissa. He received a Master of Surgery degree from the King George Medical College, Lucknow, and his neurosurgical degree (M.Ch.) from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi. He pursued his advanced training in the United Kingdom with a special interest in surgery of craniovertebral junction anomalies. He introduced the Smith-Peterson method of anterior cervical discectomy and fusion at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru. He was also instrumental in the construction of the operation theater complex at the NIMHANS. He retired from the NIMHANS in 1996, after which he returned to his hometown, Cuttack. He passed away on August 5, 2022, following a short respiratory illness.
Lynda Jun San Yang (1967–2022)
Dr. Lynda Jun San Yang was born on April 28, 1967. She studied at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and received both her medical and doctorate degree. Soon after, she completed her residency at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan. She was a world-renowned peripheral nerve surgeon who led the formation of an unparalleled multidisciplinary brachial plexus program in the Department of Neurosurgery, University of Michigan. She also served as the Director of Clinical Outcomes Research for neurosurgery at the University of Michigan.
Bharat Kumar J. Damany (1929–2022)
Dr. Bharat Kumar J. Damany was a prolific speaker, excellent teacher, and humble, loving, meticulous surgeon who was deeply involved in patient care. He graduated from Bombay University and received all his degrees there, including B.S., M.B.B.S., and M.S. In 1959, he joined the Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, as a Chief Neurosurgery Resident and became a board-certified neurosurgeon in 1962. He then returned to India and started neurosurgery departments at Smt. NHL Municipal Medical College (V.S. College), Ahmedabad, in 1964, at Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical College and General Hospital (LTMMC & GH), Sion, Mumbai, in 1975, and at Hinduja Hospital, Mumbai. He was credited with initiating the use of bipolar cautery in neurosurgery in India in 1963. He was also one of the first surgeons to perform transnasal pituitary surgery in India. He pioneered the use of CO2 lasers in neurosurgery in Mumbai. He passed away on January 26, 2022 at 93 years of age following a short illness.
Moroz Victor Leonidovich (1979–2022)
Dr. Moroz Victor Leonidovich was a talented young neurosurgeon from Ukraine who passed away at the age of 43 while he was on duty at a patient’s bedside. He died due to pulmonary thrombosis in the middle of the night at St. Catherine’s Clinic he was working at that time. He achieved great success in the rehabilitation of neurosurgical patients. During his career, he performed thousands of complex neurosurgical operations throughout the Odessa region of Ukraine.
Alejandra Rabadan (1953–2022)
Dr. Alejandra Rabadan was born in Buenos Aires in 1953. She graduated with honors in Medicine at the University of Buenos Aires in the 1980s and subsequently completed her residency training in neurosurgery at the prestigious Hospital Costa Buero, Buenos Aires. After that, she trained with national and international leaders in neurosurgery, including Professors Pardal, Yasargil, Drake, and Samii. She was the first and so far the only female Director of Neurosurgery at The Hospital Italiano of Buenos Aires (1999–2005) and the Lanari Institute of Medical Research. Her multiple academic appointments included Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Buenos Aires, Director of the Neuro-oncology chapters of the Argentinian Society of Cancerology, Latin-American Federation of Neurosurgery, and Latin-American Society of Neuro-oncology. She also had a postgraduate degree in Clinical and Social Bioethics and wrote the highly regarded book Desafios Bioeticos en neurociencias del siglo XXI. Each person Dr. Rabadan treated could feel how important he or she was to her. Her capacity for empathy never altered, no matter how many scientific articles and books she had written, how many committees or scientific societies she would lead, or the prestige of her clinical appointments. We will always miss the brightness of her mind and the kindness of her smile.
Sudeep Raj Singh (1982–2022)
The Nepalese Society of Neurosurgeons has lost a very young neurosurgeon in the country. Dr. Sudeep Raj Singh died on December 14, 2022, following sudden episodes of uncontrolled hematemesis. He was born on February 21, 1982, in Biratnagar, Nepal, and died very young at the age of 41 years. After completing school with distinction, he worked as a computer teacher at Pathfinder Secondary School before the commencement of his medical career at the Institute of Applied Sciences, University of Sciences and Technology, Chittagong), Bangladesh. He completed his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree in 2006. He completed his internship at Patan Hospital, Lalitpur. In 2012, he joined Banga Bandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) in Bangladesh for his neurosurgery residency and became a board-certified neurosurgeon in 2017. Since then, he had been working as a consultant neurosurgeon in the Lumbini City Hospital & Medical Sciences Pvt. Ltd., Butwal.
Glenn W. Kindt (1930–2022)
Dr. Glenn W. Kindt was the chief of the Department of Neurosurgery, University of Colorado, for 20 years. He was born in Alpena, Michigan. He attended Michigan State University where he earned his degree in meteorology. He completed his residency in neurosurgery at the University of Michigan in 1955. He contributed to the development of surgical tools and advancement of football helmet technology. He passed away on January 20, 2022, at the age of 91.
Nestor Renzi (1941–2022)
Dr. Nestor Renzi was born in Rosario, Argentina, in 1941. He graduated and completed his neurosurgical training in Rosario and later in Seville with Professor Lasierra. He was the Director of Neurosurgery of the Hospital Italiano of Rosario and of the Marcelino Freire Hospital. He founded and presided over the Neurology and Neurosurgery Society of Rosario. He was president of the Argentinean Association of Neurosurgery from 2004 to 2006, member of the Directive Committee of the FLANC, Vice Dean of the Argentinean College of Neurosurgery, associate professor at the University of Rosario, among many other achievements. He subsequently became a historian of Argentinean neurosurgery. He died on April 18, 2022.
Sem Mounty (1962–2022)
Dr. Sem Mounty was working as the chief of the Department of Orthopedic and Neurosurgery at Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital when he passed away on November 26, 2022. He was one of the surgeons who started to perform the most difficult operations for trauma cases, and brain and spine tumors with good success.
Justin Schultz Cetas (1970–2020)
Dr. Justin Schultz Cetas was born on October 3, 1970, and served as chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson. Prior to this he worked at the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Hospital for 20 years from internship through neurosurgery residency to skull base fellowship to becoming a highly skilled neurosurgeon. He has published more than 100 papers and mentored many medical students and neurosurgery residents.
Udit Singhal (1976–2022)
Dr. Udit Singhal was working in Sushma Hospital & Research Centre Pvt. Ltd. in Lucknow, India. He also worked in the Department of Neurosurgery, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medicine in 2005.
Hassen Zaim (1976–2022)
Dr. Hassen Zaim was born in Syria in 1976, then moved with his father (who was a gynecologist), his mother, and elder sister to Tunisia in the early 1980s, when he was 5 years old. He grew up and lived in Nabeul, a beautiful coastal town in the Cap-Bon region of Tunisia, where he finished his high school studies. He studied medicine in the Medical School of Sousse where he graduated and worked as general physician for a couple of years, during which he gained experience in general medicine practice. He then passed the residency matching examination for specialization and joined the Tunisian Neurosurgery Board. He completed his neurosurgery residency training mainly in the well-known National Institute of Neurology of Tunis in addition to the other neurosurgery training centers of the capital. He also completed 1 year of training as FFI in the Hôpitaux Civils de Lyon in France between 2014 and 2015. He was industrious and very dedicated to his work, eager to learn, and continuously seeking knowledge. Very sadly, he passed away in Taif on September 21, 2022, due to complications of cancer that was beyond all therapeutic resources. He left behind his beloved mother and three sisters.
Venugopal Subramaniam (1977–2022)
Dr. Venugopal Subramaniam was a consultant neurosurgeon at Manipal Hospitals in India. He collapsed in the Manipal Hospitals Whitefield operation theater before scrubbing for his second case; he was 45 years old. His special interests were deep brain stimulation, neuro-oncology, epilepsy surgery, spinal deformity, and minimally invasive spine surgery.
Sonival Cândido Hunhevicz (1959–2022)
Dr. Sonival Cândido Hunhevicz was born in Palmas, Tocantins, Brazil, on December 23, 1959. He completed his specialization in general neurosurgery in Essen, Germany, and functional neurosurgery and neuroendoscopy in Mainz, Germany. He was battling cancer for 4 years and passed away on March 4, 2022 at 62 years of age. According to a condolence note issued by instituto de Neurologia de curitiba (INC), “Dr. Sonival has actively participated in the formation of many neurosurgeons in Brazil and other countries, professionals who carry with them his technical and ethical teachings.”
Jose Reinaldo Nogueira (1951–2022)
Dr. Jose Reinaldo Nogueira was born in Franca, São Paulo, Brazil, in 1951 and graduated from Universidade Federal de Uberlândia, Minas Gerais. When he completed medical school, he moved to Santos, São Paulo, to specialize in neurosurgery. In 1987, he joined the Núcleo de Gestão Assistencial (NGA). He was fighting cancer when he finally succumbed to it at 71 years of age.
Igor Yssao Moreira Yamamura (1984–2022)
Dr. Igor Yssao Moreira Yamamura was born in Cuiabá, Mato Grosso, Brazil, in 1983. In 2007, he graduated with a degree in medicine from Universidade Federal do Mato Grosso do Sul, Campo Grande, Brazil. He completed his neurosurgery residency mainly in Santa Casa de Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul, in December 2012, and he moved to Mato Grosso to work as a neurosurgeon. In his free time, his passion was to play guitar. On July 31, 2022, he died due to a sudden heart attack. He was just 38 years old.
José Francisco Antonio de Souza (1945–2022)
Dr. José Francisco Antonio de Souza graduated as a physician in 1968 from Faculdade de Ciências Médicas de Campinas–UNICAMP, and he completed his neurosurgery residency from Clinica Santo Antonio in 1971. A few days before he passed away, he made an important donation to this university including some historic Italian medical books. He passed away on July 19, 2022, of natural causes.
Anselmo Saturnino Teixeira (1947–2022)
Dr. Anselmo Saturnino Teixeira was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1947 and graduated as a physician from Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1976. He completed his neurosurgery residency at Hospital da Lagoa in 1980 and his specialization in neuro-oncology at Rio de Janeiro in 1981 and Germany in 1987. He joined the National Cancer Institute (INCA) in 1984 and worked with extreme dedication at INCA in the neurosurgery section for over 30 years, where he helped train dozens of neurosurgeons during his career. He was immunocompromised due to his therapy for multiple myeloma and died on December 23, 2022, of COVID-19.
Durvalino Albertine Rocha (1945–2022)
Dr. Durvalino Albertine Rocha was a founding member of the Medical Residency in Neurosurgery at Hospital Biocor/Rede D’Or São Luiz, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais. He was a general neurosurgeon with interests in neuro-oncology and spine who also served in the army. On June 13, 2022, he passed away at the age of 72.
José Antonio Maingué (1942–2022)
Dr. José Antonio Maingué was born in Curitiba, Brazil, on December 22, 1942. He graduated with a degree in medicine from Universidade Federal do Paraná, Curitiba, in 1970. He was a residency preceptor at the Hospital Evangélico de Curitiba where he received tributes from his residents. In 2020, he celebrated 50 years as a physician and earned the honors Diploma in Ethical Merits. On February 12, 2022, he died of a heart attack.
Antonio Carlos Ebling (1948–2022)
Dr. Antonio Carlos Ebling was born on January 21, 1948, in Taquara, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. He was not only a neurosurgeon but had a successful political career too. He served as the mayor of Taquara from 1983 to 1988 as well as city councilor in some mandates. He passed away on November 5, 2022, at the age of 74 years.
Nielson Araujo Gomes (1985–2022)
Dr. Nielson Araujo Gomes was born on April 12, 1985, in Dom Expedito Lopes, Piauí, Brazil. He graduated from Universidade Estadual do Piauí in 2009 and completed his neurosurgery residency at Hospital Municipal Miguel Couto, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He worked as a general neurosurgeon in Hospital Geral de Palmas, the biggest hospital in the state of Tocantins, Brazil. On February 6, 2022, he was a victim of a car accident on a highway and died at the age of 36 years.
Homi Dastur (1926–2022)
Dr. Homi Dastur was one of the oldest living neurosurgery legends in the world when he passed away on December 22, 2022, at the age of 96. He set up the neurosurgery department at the KEM hospital, Mumbai, India, in 1957. He worked in neurosurgery for 50 years.
Osama El-Ghannam (1947–2022)
Dr. Osama El-Ghannam was one of the most famous Egyptian and Middle Eastern neurosurgeons of the last decades. He was born on April 17, 1947, in Sheikh Zein-Elddin, Tahta, near the Sohag Governorate in Upper Egypt. He graduated from the Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, and was awarded a Ph. D. in neurosurgery in 1977. He was one of the founders of the Alazhar Neurosurgery Department and head of the department in 2002, head of the Egyptian Society of Neurosurgery in 2003, and dean of Al-Azhar University Faculty of Medicine for Boys in Cairo in 2005. He created the first specialized center for neurosurgery in Egypt in 1995. He had a very wide field of interest in neuroscience and neurosurgery including cranial and skull base, pediatric, spinal, and peripheral nerve surgery. He died on October 14, 2022, of pancreatic cancer.
Alaa Abdelhay (1949–2022)
Dr. Alaa Abdelhay was born in May 1949. He graduated from Ain Shams University and earned his Ph.D. in neurosurgery in 1981. He was also head of the Department of Neurosurgery from 2000 to 2006.He was awarded the honorary presidency of the Egyptian Society of Neurosurgery, during which he updated the infrastructure and managed to establish more specific subspecialty units. He died on May 13, 2022.
Emad Eldin Mahmoud Khattab (1961–2022)
Dr. Emad Eldin Mahmoud Khattab was born on May 13, 1961, in Cairo, Egypt and graduated from Cairo University in 1984. He earned his M.S. in neurosurgery in 1996 and became a professor of neurosurgery at Military Medical Academy in 2019. In 1985, he began working in the Neurosurgery Department in Maadi Military Hospital and became head of the department in 2018. He was a mentor for many Egyptian military neurosurgeons. His interests were in cranial skull base and stereotaxis. He died at the age of 61 on June 24, 2022.
The authors acknowledge the Admin of “Neurosurgery Cocktail,” Bipin Chaurasia, a social media group in all social media platform that connects 35,000 neurosurgeons worldwide.
Conflict of interest statement: The authors declare that the article content was composed in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.
— Read on www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9978927/