|Year : 2020 | Volume
| Issue : 3 | Page : 724-
Dr. A. Simon Hercules - Community Neurosurgeon Whose Life was Nipped in Bud
Department of Neurosurgery, Chettinad Hospital and Research Institute, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Dr. V G Ramesh
Professor, Neurosurgery, Chettinad Hospital and Research Institute, Chennai
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Ramesh V G. Dr. A. Simon Hercules - Community Neurosurgeon Whose Life was Nipped in Bud.Neurol India 2020;68:724-724
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Ramesh V G. Dr. A. Simon Hercules - Community Neurosurgeon Whose Life was Nipped in Bud. Neurol India [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Sep 26 ];68:724-724
Available from: http://www.neurologyindia.com/text.asp?2020/68/3/724/289021
It is with profound grief and sorrow that I am writing this obituary of my own student and colleague, Dr. A. Simon Hercules, MS, MCh, PhD, FRCS (Ed), MBA. Hailing from humble family background, Simon did his MBBS at the Chengalpattu Medical College, University of Madras and passed out in 1989. He had his General Surgery training at the Stanley Medical College, Chennai and passed his MS (General Surgery) examination in 1999. He also passed FRCS (Edin) in 2001. He underwent Neurosurgery training at the Madras Institute of Neurology at Madras Medical College from 2001 to 2004 and got his MCh (Neurosurgery) degree in 2004. He went to the UK in 2005 and did one-year Clinical Attachment in Neurosurgery at Liverpool, Salford and New Castle-upon-Tyne. He worked at the Sri Ramachandra Medical College, Chennai, as Assistant Professor in Neurosurgery for a short time before embarking on private practice in Chennai. He started his Neurosurgery practice at the New Hope Medical Center in the centre of Chennai City. He gradually established his practice and became popular and accomplished Neurosurgeon in a short time. Though it was a private practice set up, it had all the advanced Neurosurgery gadgets including an advanced microscope, neuroendoscope, neuronavigation, stereotactic frame, ultrasonic aspirator and well equipped neuro-intensive care unit. He continued his academic pursuits, especially in spine surgery. He did research work on the “Prediction of post-surgical lumbar segmental instability” leading to Ph.D. from Tamilnadu Dr MGR Medical University in 2016. He was inactive neurosurgery practice till the present pandemic took the toll of his life on 19th April, 2020 at the prime age of 55 years. He is survived by his wife and two children.
Simon was a very simple, soft-spoken personality, with a lot of empathy for his patients and very helpful amicable friend to his colleagues. Though his practice was in a prime locality in Chennai, his professional charges were very modest. He even used to waive the fees for deserving poor patients. He used to conduct medical camps in remote villages in Tamilnadu and provided care for poor and needy patients. He has also contributed to the social welfare activities in Chennai and other parts of Tamilnadu. Though he was the Managing Director of his centre, he treated all his paramedical staff, technicians, administrative staff and other hospital workers as his own family members with affection and compassion. He kept very cool demeanour even in the face of adversity. Even during his postgraduate student days, he had helped many of his colleagues financially. He was very popular among his colleagues, his patients and his subordinate staff. Dr. Simon's rise from a humble background to a popular, community Neurosurgeon by sheer hard work is a standing example to others. The unfortunate events surrounding his funeral created a lot of turmoil among the medical community all over India. Even in his death, Simon has contributed to the medical community by forcing the public opinion for passing an ordinance against attack on health care workers, amending the Epidemics Act, which was passed on 22nd April 2020, within four days of his demise. May his soul rest in peace.