We are very saddened by the loss of a legend in the world of Hospice and Palliative Care over the weekend. Dr Sarah Fakroodeen, our beloved colleague at Highway Hospice passed as she would have had it be, without prolonged suffering or time to fuss.
Her experience, knowledge and skill in her field was unmatched in South Africa. Her work ethic was exceptional, as was her ability to manage a variety of tasks with exemption. It is hard to believe that she was the deputy CEO, head of medicine, head of education and full time doctor at Highway Hospice, Chairlady of the Hospice Association of KZN, on the board of HPCA. She also a lecturer of Palliative medicine at Nelson Mandela Medical School and UKZN as well as an external examiner for UCT.
Her passion for passing on her knowledge was an amazing gift to humanity, as was her direct and no nonsense manner. She was so conscious of time, truth and action. This often ruffled peoples feathers, but always turned focus onto the elements that mattered most. In the Hospice environment, it is often a challenge to get people to stop focussing on the frivolous, and she was incredible at managing this.
I will never forget discussing a difficult and frustrating case which had our team in a spin. Doc Sarah said, “I will meet with everyone involved, they need to be reminded that we don’t have ‘problem patients,’ we have patients with problems.” It will be impossible for us to have another Dr Sarah Fakroodeen in our lives. At the same time, it will be impossible to forget the human being she was, and the massive impact she had on so many people in need.
Rest in peace Doc’ and thanks from all of us for the lessons, not just in medicine but in how to live a productive and fulfilling life. We will miss you every day!