88. James David Leahy , MD Dr.
Personal correspondence and Kansas City Star obit from 17 OCT 1999.
Occupation-Plastic Surgeon, Overland Park, Johnson County, KS
Baptism-21 NOV 1948 St. Anthony's Park Falls; Paul and Maybelle LeahyGodparents
Confirmation-5 JUN 1960 St. Cecilia's Cathedral Omaha; confirmation name:Joseph
Medical conditions: tear of inner wall of aorta
Address-deceased; Phone/Fax-deceased; E-mail-deceased
Father-James Joseph Leahy
Mother-Katherine Alvina (Lillestrand) Leahy
(Baptism and Confirmation Records received from Marcia (Leahy) Regan, 11OCT 2002; from Bible of Kay A. (Lillestrand) Leahy)
Graduated from Creighton Prep, Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska, 1967.
Graduated from Creighton University, Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska,1970.
Served four years in the Army: stationed in Mineral Wells, TX. and FortKnox, KY.
Graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Omaha, DouglasCounty, Nebraska, 197?: MA psychology.
Graduated from the University of Nebraska Medical School, Omaha, DouglasCounty, Nebraska, 1979 Residency: Reconstructive Plastic Srugery,University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Johnson County, Kansas.
Older brothers are very special people, and Jim was no exception. He wasenough older than I was (5 years) that we never really competed againstone another and I was seldom directly compared to him (school-wise,anyway). Jim was a natural athlete. He ran some track in high school,and I think he might have tried out for baseball, except he wanted a car,and so he got a job instead. He was also quite a prankster. One of hisfavorite things to do was to pit his siblings against one another andthen let Mom know there was a problem. Then he would sit back andchuckle while the other two (or three) got into trouble. He was good atconvincing us younger kids that something was a good idea, and then hewould just shake his head in (mock) disbelief when we got called on thecarpet for it. Dad did catch on at some point, but all he would do wasshake his head and ask, "Why do you listen to him?" Well, we listenedbecause he was our big brother.
After he married and moved out of the house, he took great pleasurein rearranging the picture gallery on the baby grand piano in the livingroom. Sometimes he would remove photos. Sometimes he would reinsert themin the frame upside down. But his favorite trick was to replace the"current" picture of his sister, Janet, with one where she sportedhorn-rimmed glasses and long hair. Janet absolutely hated that picture.But if Jim had been home, there it would be, front and center on thepiano smiling at everyone who came into the room.---RML
From David Leahy, 12 NOV 2002:
My brother Jim was big into music. I shared a room with him as a kid andwhenever he bought a new record he would play it and I had to guess thename of the song and who sang it. He played the stereo at all hours ofthe day. I can remember the trips to Kansas City, it seemed as if thestereo was on from dawn to dusk.
Jim had a good sense of humor too. I remember he took me topractice driving in his car. He had a Ford LTD dark green in color. Hestarted me on a little used section of the interstate and told me I hadto go 40 mph and to keep my right foot lined up with the grease marks onthe road. Later as we were driving in town and I was stopped at a light Iasked him where he wanted me to drive to. He said " If you wait longenough the guy behind will tell you where to go."
I looked a lot like Jim and one year at Christmas I wanted to showmy kids the resemblance so I shaved my mustache. My kids got confusedand told me to put my mustache back.
From Marcia (Leahy) Regan, 4 OCT 2002:
Because Jim was nearly 18 when I was born, I don't have a lot of memoriesof just him, most of my memories are associated with his interactionswith Margie and the boys.
I'd always been told that Jim's idea of babysitting me was to hand me acan of beer so I'd wander off somewhere and fall asleep. The first timeI babysat Paul, and I couldn't have been much more than 12, he told mehe'd kill me if I tried it! Another thing I'll always remember is hislove of games and tricks. One year at Christmas when the boys were stillfairly young, he'd hooked the VCR up to the boys video racing game andtaped a bunch of crashes. Subsequently when the boys were playing he'dswitch on the tape and their cars would keep crashing. Only his laughtergave away this trick when Eric had a tantrum because he couldn't controlhis car.
James D. Leahy, MD
Dr. James D. Leahy, 50, Overland Park, KS, died Friday, October 15,1999 at Overland Park Regional Medical Center. Mass of Christian burialwill be at 10 a.m. Monday, October 18, at Church of the Ascension, 9510W. 127th, Overland Park, KS; burial in Johnson County Memorial Gardens.The family will receive friends from 5-7 p.m. Sunday, where a Rosary willbe said at 6:30 p.m. at D. W. Newcomer's Sons Johnson County FuneralChapel, 11200 Metcalf, Overland Park, KS, 66210. In lieu of flowers, thefamily suggests contributions to Rockhurst High School or to MedicalMissions Foundation c/o the funeral home.
Dr. Leahy was born October 17, 1948, in Park Falls, WI, the son ofDr. James J. and Katherine (Lillestrand) Leahy. He attended CreightonUniversity in Omaha, NE, where he received his B.A. and then received hisM. D. from the University of Nebraska. He served his residency in generaland plastic surgery at the University of Kansas Medical Center and had aprivate practice in Overland Park, KS, for 15 years. Dr. Leahy was amember of the Church of the Ascension, active coach in the Blue ValleyJunior Athletic Association, traveled overseas with the Medical MissionsFoundation and was an Eagle Scout. Dr. Leahy also served in the UnitedStates Army. He married Marjorie A. (Cartella) Leahy on August 7, 1971,in Kansas City, MO. She survives of the home. Other survivors includethree sons, Paul J. Leahy, and fiancé Juli Paugh, Eric J. Leahy, all ofOverland Park, KS, and Scott J. Leahy, and his wife Jami (Nelson) Leahy,of Phoenix, AZ; three brothers, Kevin Leahy, of New London, CT, RobertLeahy, of Carrollton, TX, and David Leahy, of Omaha, NE; three sisters,Jody Filipi, Janet Janda, and Marcia Regan, all of Omaha. He is alsosurvived by Dr. Bruce and Mary Ann (Cartella) Cappo, of Overland Park,KS; and many loving relatives and friends. (Arrangements: D. W.Newcomer's Sons Johnson County Chapel)
The Kansas City Star // October 17, 1999 // Section B, page 7
* * *
James David Leahy, M.D. (1948-1999)
On October 15, 1999, the Medical Missions Foundation lost a loyaland valuable member of its surgical team, Dr. Jim Leahy. It was a suddenand shocking loss, for he was such a young, dedicated and talentedphysician.
In 1996, Dr. Jim Leahy was the only plastic surgeon on theFoundation's inaugural medical mission to the Philippines. Dr. Leahy notonly reconstructed birth defects in poverty-stricken children, heperformed the best possible operations for the best possible results.Again in 1997 and 1998, the children of Guatemala and Vietnamrespectively were the recipients of his care and attention. As we go toBohol, Philippines on November 4, 1999, we will miss him deeply.
Jim's dedication to his family and his work had far-reachingimplications. He brought his son, Paul, now a medical student at KUmedical Center, on both Medical Missions Foundation's Missions,instilling in him his own selfless, caring nature. Jim was a fun personto be with and a marvel to work with," Armi Holcomb, R. N. recalls. "Jimstayed past midnight to care for a Filipino girl after surgery, missingan official party given in our honor."
Dr. John Romito, another member of the team remembers Jim, "He was asincere, giving, caring, and devoted person. He always prepared himselfwell for his patients' care."
Upon his passing, Jim's wife, Margie, sons Paul, Scott and Eric, anddaughter-in-law, Jami, designated the Medical Missions Foundation as arecipient of memorials in lieu of flowers. The donations will be matchedby the Foundation to create an endowment fund known as "The James D.Leahy, M. D., Travel Grant Fund." Proceeds from the fund will allownurses to attend future missions to the impoverished countries that Jimvisited and served. Donations are still being accepted for this Fund.
received from Medical Missions Foundation
912 Burning Tree Drive
Kansas City, MO 64145
6 November 1999
JAMES LEAHY MEMORIAL MEDICAL MISSION
THANH HOA DECEMBER 2-12, 1999, Project Vietnam American Academy ofPediatrics chapter 4 & Medical Mission Foundation
The medical mission was named after Dr. James Leahy, a plastic surgeonfrom Kansas, who traveled with the team to Ninh Binh in November 98. Dr.Leahy performed reconstructive surgeries in many third world countriesand Vietnam was his last mission when he passed away suddenly in November99.
1. PARTICIPANTS: 43 VOLUNTEERS
§ Surgery team: 3 Plastic surgeons, 1 Ophthalmologist, 3Anesthesiologists, 1 Nurse-anesthetist, 5 Operating room Nurses, 3Recovery room Nurses and 3 Engineers.
§ Gynecology team: 2 Gynecologists, 1 Nurse-midwife, 1 Pathologist and 1Oncologist
§ Medical team: 5 Pediatricians, 1 Family Practitioner and 1Internist/Preventive Medicine, and 2 Pharmacists.
§ 7 Volunteers and 1 Photographer.
· 96 children receiving corrective surgery : 45 Cleft lip/palate, 51Ophthalmic procedures (cataracts, ptosis, strabismus)
· 450 patients treated during 2 Health clinics at Minh Khoi and TruongTrung Communes, district of Nong Cong, and at Trung Linh Hospice
· 200 Hearing screenings done at Thanh Hoa hospital and Day care. Thereis no known study or data on incidence of Hearing loss in Vietnamesechildren while advanced ear pathology is prevalent.
· Medical Education:
- lectures at the National Pediatric Institute for 100 pediatricians &pediatric specialists (Issues in Cleft lip/palate repair, Advances inPediatric Ophthalmology, Acute Respiratory Diseases, Update on PediatricAsthma)
- lectures at the National Cancer Institute in medical oncology by Dr.Jerome Block.
- lectures at Thanh Hoa General Hospital for 50- 100 staff physicians
(Cleft lip/palate Surgery, Common Pediatric Ophthalmic problems,Hypertension, Pediatric Asthma, Pediatric Respiratory Diseases, Newbornproblems)
- lectures at Thanh Hoa Women’s Hospital for 50 staff physicians &midwives
(Laparoscopic surgery, Infertility, Symposium on Breast Cancer, Symposiumon Cervical Cancer, Obstetrical problems during prenatal period, laborand postpartum, Newborn Resuscitation & perinatal problems)
- lectures at Ninh Binh General Hospital for 100 staff physicians &nurses on Hypertension & Pediatric Asthma
· Training for staff physicians at Thanh Hoa General Hospital in thedepartments of stomatology, ophthalmology, anesthesia, pediatrics,medicine through surgeries in the operating room and medical rounds.
· Training for staff physicians at Thanh Hoa Women’s Hospital in theoutpatient clinic, operating room, and inpatient rounds. 75 patients withsuspicious cervical lesions were screened by colposcopy and biopsies weretaken.
· Training for 40 midwives at Thanh Hoa Women’s Hospital in the clinicand labor/delivery.
· Training for 7 nurse practitioners from Trung Linh Hospice (Man CoiSisters) and from Thanh Hoa Convent (Sisters of the Holy Cross)
* National Pediatric Institute, value $1,500
Peak Flow Meters, Inhalation solution for nebulizer, PediatricStethoscopes, Medical Handbooks.
* Thanh Hoa General Hospital, value $24,500
Equipment : 5 Oxygen Concentrators, 1 EKG monitor, 1 Defibrillator, 1Respirator, 2 Nebulizers, 1 Suction Machine
Instruments : 1 set for cleft lip/palate repair, 1 set for strabismusrepair, 1 Otoscope, 1 Microscope, 2 Stethoscopes, Peak flow meters
Supplies : cautery tips, recovery room supplies & misc. surgical supplies.
Medicines : Antibiotics, Inhalation solutions, Asthma Inhalers, variousmeds & injectables.
Office machine : Fax machine
120 gift packages to patients (stuffed animals, toys, coloring books &crayons, toiletry items etc), a Nintendo set and toys for the Pediatricward, toys and large stuffed animals for Thanh Hoa Hospital Daycare.
Cash donation $500
* Women’s Hospital, value $15,000
Equipment : 1 Colposcope, 1 Fetal heart rate Doppler,
Instruments : 1 set for cervical biopsy, 1 Microscope, Speculas, 2Fetoscopes
Office machine: 1 Slide projector
* Ninh Binh General Hospital, value $1,500
Nebulizer, Peak flow meters, Inhalation solutions & Asthma inhalers
v Communes of Minh Khoi & Truong Trung, Trung Linh Hospice, Thanh HoaHoly Cross health clinic & Hanoi Homeless children project, to each$1,500 value:
Instruments : Stethoscope, Sphygmomanometer, Speculas, Glass syringes
Medicines : Antibiotics, Asthma Inhalers & Spacers, Antacids, Vitamins,Iron, Analgesics, Antifungals, Dermatologicals, Nasal sprays.
Cash donation of $1,500
* Quang Binh province, for flood relief, value $3,000
Medicines : Water Purifier tablets, Water Purifying Pump, Antibiotics,Antidiarrheals, Analgesics, Asthma inhalers, Nasal sprays, Antacids,Vitamins, Iron, Anthelmintics, Cold & cough meds
Instruments : Speculas, Resuscitation equipment & Bulb syringes
Cash donation $1,500 to affected commune health centers
¨ The surgical team worked harmoniously together, the surgical repairswere successful, anesthesia and recovery uneventful. Thanh Hoa surgeonsfor MaxilloFacial and Ophthalmology showed excellent skills.They workedconstantly side by side with our surgeons, and by the third day Dr.Prepas was supervising 2 ongoing eye procedures.
¨ The gynecological team worked very well with the staff of the Women’sHospital in the outpatient clinic, on rounds & in surgery or delivery.Two separate tracks were conducted, for physicians and for midwives.
¨ Thanh Hoa Hospital and the Women’s Hospital leaderships wereenthusiastic, organized and flexible. Their cooperation promoted veryproductive interaction with the staff and successful medical educationconferences.
¨ Primary care departments (Pediatrics & Medicine) show great needs andlittle resources. Pediatricians were treating very sick patients withabsence of even basic diagnostic tools (no otoscope or ophthalmoscope),and minimal laboratory studies. We have committed to provide thedepartment with a lab on site for essential diagnostic tests.
¨ Vitamin K deficiency leading to intracranial bleeding in the newborn isa common problem, yet routine neonatal vitamin K injections are givenonly in large provincial hospitals. We shall work towards adoption ofvitamin K after-birth as a national policy, to prevent the seriouscurrent neonatal morbidity.
Speech presented by Christian Regan
(The speech is for English class and is part of the National CivicOration Contest sponsored by The Modern Woodmen of America. I will giveit as part of the school competition some time in March. Depending onhow I do there, I could go on to the district level.)
I don't think a real American hero is someone who does the rightthing to be famous. It is someone who does it because it's right. Areal American hero doesn't burn in the fires of peer pressure. It issomeone who puts out the fires of peer pressure to do what is right evenif his only supporter is God.
A real American hero doesn't have to be the president, a firefighter or a police person. Heroes are everywhere. A real American herocan be as simple as someone who plays with someone who is feeling leftout, or babysits his little brother or sister while his parents visit asick friend. So a real American hero is someone who sets a good exampleand does what's right no matter what.
You might be asking yourself, why is someone who hangs out withsomeone who is excluded or does a favor for his parents a real Americanhero? I'll tell you. They are the people who set a good example forAmerica. People who do these things for pride, fame or money set a badexample for America.
Though lots of doctors may be considered heroes, I know of one whotruly represents what it means to be a real American hero. He was aplastic surgeon, but he didn't just perform operations to help the richand famous look younger or more beautiful. He traveled to economicallychallenged countries, where he gave of his time and talent to helpphysically disfigured children, who would never have been allowed to livenormal lives without his help. These children, with cleft lips andpalates were made fun of, not allowed to go to school, and were manytimes forced to stay inside of their homes. He also treated patients whohad been severely burned and left with horrible scars.
Without my uncle Jim and the others who traveled with the medicalmissions, these people might never have even seen a doctor! Over 100children in the Philippines, Guatemala and Vietnam were given a brighterfuture. But my uncle Jim did more than operate. He brought his son, nowalso a doctor, along on two of the mission trips, training anotherAmerican hero, and I'm sure that had my uncle not died suddenly, he andmy cousin would be making more of these trips together.
If more people followed his example, America would be a betterplace. I hope that one day we can prove Mother Theresa's statement wrongwhen she said, "America is the poorest nation in the world." She didn'tmean that we lack money, she meant that we lack people who do the rightthings because they are right.
Though people doing what is right because it's right has greatlyincreased since 9/11, we still need to work on increasing the number ofpeople who do what is right just because it is right, and decrease theamount of people who do the right thing for pride or money.
Can you imagine how much greater a nation America would be if allpeople did the right thing? And how much happier people would be if theydidn't do the right thing just for money or pride.
If you look at sports players, they make millions of dollars and somany people want to be like them and consider them heroes. You might bethinking, money can make me happy, and that's true. Money gives you askin-deep feeling of happiness, but just doing the right thing forsomeone because it's right gives you an inner feeling of deep joy. In myopinion an inner feeling of deep joy is much more pleasing than askin-deep feeling of happiness. Money doesn't make a hero. Heroes aremade by people taking responsibility for their actions and not hidingbehind their fame or their money.