Dr Keith C. Hammond, 1935–2016

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 58, No. 6, July August 2016, Page 319 Obituaries

Dr Keith C. Hammond

Dr Hammond was born in London, England, and received his primary medical degrees from Guy’s Hospital (London University), to which he immediately added a diploma in obstetrics and gynecology. Dr Hammond practised as a government doctor for 2½ years in what was then the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. He was the first doctor on the scene when the plane carrying UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld crashed near Ndola Airport in 1961.

Upon returning to England, Dr Hammond obtained a diploma in anesthesia, met and married Gina, and then immigrated to Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, where he served as a general practitioner/anesthetist for 4 years. The family then returned to England to take a respite from general practice and to prepare to sail their 35-foot sloop Genever across the Atlantic to the Caribbean, where they stayed for nearly 2 years. During that time Dr Hammond worked in Tortola, British Virgin Islands, for 3 months and set up the first anesthetic machine on the San Blas Islands. In 1970 the family moved to Vancouver where Dr Hammond could obtain specialist training in radiology and where he then worked briefly as a researcher and diagnostic radiologist at the BC Cancer Agency. Dr Hammond joined the medical staff of Nanaimo Regional General Hospital in 1978 and served terms as head of the Department of Radiology and as a member of the hospital’s Board of Directors. He retired in 2000.

Dr Hammond’s eclectic interests were fuelled by an inquisitive and analytical mind. He excelled as a yachtsman. As an expert mechanic, what he couldn’t fix he replaced with ingenious work-arounds. He bought a new Harley-Davidson, the last of the models with miles per hour on the speedometer, kept it in his den on the second floor of their Cape Cod–style home, and fired it up annually at their Christmas parties, giving his friends a good laugh and the house a good rattle. He took his family to Alaska and the high Arctic on their 20-foot powerboat, regularly windsurfed in Baja and Hawaii, wrote a successful information system software program for the Madrona Imaging clinic, and authored a partially autobiographical novel, Twelve (featuring Brother XII), which won an Independent Publisher’s bronze medal. His often delightfully quirky, independent point of view on many topics, as humorous as it was refreshing, was always balanced with a generous dollop of common sense. An entertaining raconteur, he shared a wealth of vignettes based on his many amusing and sometimes harrowing adventures, medical and otherwise.

Dr Hammond endured with dignity the cruelty of rapidly advancing Parkinson disease. He leaves Gina, his devoted wife of 52 years; sons Tim (Kyoko) and Malcolm (Alison); and four grandchildren.
—John P. Whitelaw, MDCM

John P. Whitelaw, MDCM. Dr Keith C. Hammond, 1935–2016. BCMJ, Vol. 58, No. 6, July, August, 2016, Page(s) 319 - Obituaries.

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