Hong Kong Med J 2014;20:169 | Number 2, April 2014
© Hong Kong Academy of Medicine. CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
An addendum to “Doctor for Society” — Professor Lee Shiu Hung: “Pass on benevolence, pass on the legend”
Jacob WT Ng, FCSHK, FHKAM (Surgery)1; John YH Ho, MEng (Oxon)2
1 Private practice
2 Love U All Charitable Foundation
Corresponding author: Dr Jacob WT Ng (firstname.lastname@example.org)
To the Editor—The section “Doctor for Society” written by medical students, featuring inspiring—at times, rather touching—stories, offered enjoyable reading at the end of a heavy diet of scientific and didactic papers. Not only did the remarkable feats of generations of compassionate doctors strike a chord with consummate fellows of the Academy, but they also stimulated and inspired many of our students. If we were to pass on one treasure to the latter, it should be the heart of benevolence.1
One of the most well-known and respected community medicine legends who deserves to be included in the series would be Prof Lee Shiu-hung. Regrettably, medical students no longer have the opportunity to interview him.
On 6 January this year, the senior author invited him (aged 81 years) to be the Guest of Honour at the Annual Winter Charity Dinner sponsored by his “Love U All Charitable Foundation”. As usual, he came on time with a warm smile.
Halfway through the dinner, he offered an impromptu entertainment for old folks and sang a Xianjiang folk song “That place from afar”. We were so taken by his enthusiasm that we took a snapshot of him while he was enjoying the lyrics, as did the ageing audience. Most interestingly, we found later right beside his head in the photograph the Chinese character for “Benevolence” from the backdrop, a word that aptly described his whole life to the very last minute (Fig). After singing the top notes at the end, he went back to his seat. Five minutes or so later, he fell to the carpeted floor and rapidly lapsed into deepening coma and passed away peacefully. It is most befitting for the premier medical journal of Hong Kong to be the first to publish this photo—the last glimpse of Prof Lee’s extraordinary long career and lifetime of devotion culminating in the realisation of true “Doctor for Society”.
Figure. The last photo of Prof Lee taken a few minutes before he fainted and passed away. Note the Chinese characters by the sides of his head
1. Wong I, Wong K. Pass on passion, pass on “loving heart”. Dr Jacob Wai-Tat Ng interviewed by medical students. Hong Kong Med J 2013;19:366-7.