A top breast cancer surgeon dies on first day at Scottish hospital
A TOP breast cancer surgeon from the US died the day he started his new job at a Scottish hospital.
Dr Keith Amos turned up for work as expected at the world-renowned breast cancer unit at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh.
But the 42-year-old started to feel unwell within hours and went home – blaming the pizza he had eaten for lunch.
Dr Amos later took himself to the A&E department at the same hospital where he died of a ruptured artery in his heart.
The tragic medic, the assistant professor of surgery at the University of North Carolina, had won a scholarship from the American College of Surgeons to work at the Western, which has the biggest breast cancer unit in the UK.
Mike Dixon, professor of surgery and consultant surgeon at the breast unit said that Dr Amos had suffered an acute aortic dissection – a rupture of one of the body’s major arteries – that caused his sudden and unexpected death.
He said: “It all happened so quickly and there would appear to be no history of illness before.
“Naturally everybody is deeply upset by what has happened but the response for the hospital staff in helping his family throughout and afterwards has been quite staggering.”
The doctor was staying in a flat near the hospital where he was living with his wife, Ahaji, and three children aged ten, eight and six.
American colleagues have paid tribute to Dr Amos, originally from Louisiana., who decided to specialise in breast cancer treatment after his mother died from the disease while he was at an early age.
Ben Calvo, chief surgical oncology specialist at North Carolina University said Amos was loved by his patients and was a good teacher, researcher and physician.
He said: “Managing all of those three takes a lot of people skills if you’re going to be successful at more than one of them.
Calvo added that Amos was most dedicated to three things in life – his family, his career and the Dallas Cowboys.
He added that Amos was a dedicated friend, adding that two of Amo’s friends from training flew to Scotland when they heard the news of his death.
“That’s difficult to do in the medical world,” Calvo said.
“But obviously Keith’s personality and friendship and ties got people to instantly drop what they were doing to go visit with (his wife and daughters) and try to help.”
A post-mortem was carried out on the doctor and a death certificate issued to allow for cremation. The family then returned to their home in Houston, North Carolina.
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