The passing of Dr Leslie Glass noted in the obituary column of the April issue of the BCMJ has relevance to our spanking new hospital with its regional designation. The evolution from cottage to regional status has been ably described by Dr Bill Dick and Dr Gordon Gibson in a supplement of the Abbotsford News published on 6 March 2008. Dr Glass’s relocation there in the early 1970s played no small role in major changes and improvements.
While at first glance it would appear that he came to the Abbotsford area in his late 50s to rusticate, enjoy his farm, and settle into a gradual retirement, nothing could be further from the truth. He burned the midnight oil in Abbotsford and Mission with the same enthusiasm and vigor as he had in Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver, where I knew him.
As a pediatrician, it had been my job to attend at infant deliveries to stressed babies when resuscitation might be required. In this role I have observed deliveries in Newfoundland, Toronto, Thunder Bay, and North Vancouver. I had not previously seen the level of expertise in obstetrical matters displayed by Dr Glass. This applied particularly to his ability with Kielland’s forceps.
Coincident with obstetrical improvements he expressed the need for a special care nursery, as the facilities at that time were deemed inadequate. A single Armstrong incubator (hot box) represented the level of sophistication. Mission Hospital had an isolette incubator that facilitated oxygen administration. The MSA Hospital Auxiliary was prevailed upon to supply the funds for the first isolette in Abbotsford.
Over the next several months further isolettes became available, facilities for infant intravenous infusions followed together with heart monitors, oximeters, facilities for pH measurement, and an Ohio table replaced the aged Kreiselman resuscitator.
Dr Glass’s enthusiasm in clinical matters was infectious. His extensive experience, quietly related, provided valuable lessons to those of us involved in patient care. He left big shoes to fill.
—James E. Parker, MBBCh
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