מכתבו של Todd K. Rosengart מה- Baylor College of Medicine
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
It is with the utmost sadness that we must share with you the heartbreaking news of the unfortunate passing of our dear friend and colleague Dr. David Sugarbaker. Dr. Sugarbaker was the venerated chief of the Division of General Thoracic Surgery at the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery, director of the Baylor College of Medicine Lung Institute at the Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, and director of the Baylor College of Medicine Mesothelioma Treatment Center, each of which he founded upon his arrival here from Brigham and Women's Hospital in 2014. Dr. Sugarbaker held the distinguished Olga Keith Wiess chair, Dr. DeBakey’s chair, which was a source of his great and deserved pride. David was the greatest friend and colleague to all who knew him – as so often aptly stated, he was a true “force of nature” who saw no obstacle as too large nor any goal as too distant. He was highly influenced in his vision of life by his father, himself a renowned surgical oncologist, who he spoke about often in his lectures and in private settings, and by his wonderful and loving wife Linda and by his large and very close family.
Dr. Sugarbaker matriculated from Wheaton College and graduated at the top of his class from Cornell University Medical School in 1979, later completing a residency in surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, along with a residency in cardiothoracic surgery at Toronto General Hospital. He then became chief resident in cardiac surgery at Toronto General Hospital and a resident in pediatric cardiac surgery at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada. He launched the division of thoracic surgery (the first in the U.S.) and the lung transplant program at Brigham and Women's Hospital upon his becoming a faculty member there in 1988, and quickly built these into the largest of programs in the United States. In 2002, he interests led him to found the International Mesothelioma Program with the central goal of finding a cure for this dreaded disease. The program also became the largest of its kind, but David was able to rebuild these world-renowned programs seemingly overnight after his decision to join us here in Houston.
Dr. Sugarbaker’s pioneered advances in the treatment of mesothelioma and complex thoracic cancers truly changed these field of medicine and have been recognized worldwide. At the same time, he deeply affected the lives of his great many patients and their families, his peers and colleagues, the hundreds of residents and students that he trained and mentored as our next generation, and his friends and family such that he will never be forgotten, and will always be missed.
Funeral arrangements are pending and we ask that the family’s privacy be respected at this time. We will be holding a memorial service in honor of Dr. Sugarbaker in the near future.
Todd K. Rosengart, MD, FACS
Professor and Chair
DeBakey Bard Chair of Surgery
Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery
Baylor College of Medicine