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"YOO" 2005 Obituary


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YOO o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-05-19 published
Robert FREEDOM, Surgeon 1941-2005
The director of cardiology at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children was a widely respected surgeon who wrote hefty textbooks and played a key role in the royal commission that investigated the mystery deaths of 36 baby patients
By Allison LAWLOR, Special to The Globe and Mail, Thursday, May 19, 2005, Page S11
Halifax -- Known by his peers as "Mr. Pediatric Cardiology," Robert FREEDOM was widely respected for his clinical skills and for his training of cardiologists from around the world, and as a prolific author of clinical research and textbooks, several of which are considered classics in the field. Less happily, he figured large in a sensational 1981 murder probe and a subsequent royal commission that investigated the deaths of more than 30 babies at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children
It wasn't uncommon to find the head of cardiology at Sick Kids hunched over his desk in the early morning hours writing. Over his career, Dr. FREEDOM wrote more than 400 medical papers, 125 book chapters, and eight textbooks, including the formidably large Atlas of Congenital Heart Disease and the Natural and Modified History of Congenital Heart Disease. Published in 2003, it was the last of his textbooks.
Robert Mark FREEDOM was a native of Maryland, where he and his twin brother, Gary, experienced a disruptive childhood. Shortly after they were born, their parents divorced and they had virtually no contact with their father, a neurologist and an eighth-generation physician. When they were still young, they moved to Southern California and were soon placed together in boarding schools and residential homes. The brothers remained close throughout their lives.
Robert studied medicine at the University of California at Los Angeles; Gary went on to earn a PhD in geography. Initially focused on neurosurgery, Dr. FREEDOM soon found a new interest. At medical school, he was asked to perform four autopsies on babies or children with congenital cardiac disease; from that experience, he decided to pursue a new path in medicine.
After finishing medical school, he was accepted for an internship and residency in pediatrics at Children's Hospital Boston. While there, he also studied pediatric cardiology. In 1972, he was recruited by Richard ROWE, then director of pediatric cardiology at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, to become the director of the diagnostic cardiac catheterization laboratory and assistant professor of pediatrics. When Dr. ROWE, who had become his mentor, was recruited to take over as director of cardiology at the Hospital for Sick Children in 1973, he asked Dr. FREEDOM to join him in Toronto.
Dr. FREEDOM moved to Canada in the summer of 1974 and spent the rest of his career there, dedicating himself to the hospital and the faculty of medicine at the University of Toronto. But the next decade did not unfold so smoothly, and there were times when he must have questioned his choice of careers, or at least hospitals.
On March 25, 1981, police accused Sick Kids nurse Susan NELLES of murdering baby Justin COOK. Two days later, she was charged with murdering three other infants. More than a year later, in May of 1982, Ms. NELLES was discharged at a preliminary hearing. A royal commission headed by Mr. Justice Samuel GRANGE of the Supreme Court of Ontario then examined the circumstances surrounding Ms. NELLES's arrest and prosecution.
The commission also tried to reconstruct events at the hospital from June 30, 1980, to March 22, 1981, to determine whether the babies died of heart defects or were murdered by overdoses of the heart drug digoxin. All told, the commission investigated 36 deaths.
In September of 1983, Dr. FREEDOM testified before the commission that he had told several of his relatives that "someone is killing our babies" after he learned that large amounts of digoxin had been found in a baby who died in March of 1981. Days later, he repeated the comment to Metro Toronto Police Staff-Sergeant Anthony WARR. He said he was convinced that something malevolent had transpired at the hospital after three babies died with high levels of the heart drug in their bodies.
"I believe I made the comment to my wife or my brother-in-law and his wife late on the Saturday night [March 21] after I heard of the digoxin readings on [infant] Allana MILLER," Dr. FREEDOM said. "The digoxin levels in the baby had been low [in the afternoon] and then they were sky-high. I thought something malicious was going on."
Dr. FREEDOM testified that when he learned of the high readings on the night of March 21, he thought, "My God, how can she go from a very low level to a very high level?... I wonder if it's murder?"
The commission also heard that he was so alarmed about the deaths that he told another doctor during a catherization on Justin COOK: "If this baby dies, we have a murderer on our hands."
Judge GRANGER later heard that Dr. FREEDOM had provided a vital link in the murder investigation when he told a homicide detective that problems with an intravenous line could have resulted in a digoxin overdose slowly infusing into the baby's body over several hours, making it possible for Ms. NELLES to have given the drug to the infant before she went off duty on the evening before the infant died.
At the preliminary hearing, Ms. NELLES was cleared of all charges after the judge found insufficient evidence to send the case to trial.
In 1986, Dr. FREEDOM succeeded his mentor as director of cardiology at Sick Kids, a post he held until the fall of 2000, when he stepped down because of failing health.
"We're one of the largest and best-known divisions of pediatric cardiology in the world," said Lee BENSON, a long-time colleague.
A big burly man, Dr. FREEDOM demanded high standards not only from himself but from everyone around him, and he could be intimidating. During his teaching rounds, medical students were known to tremble with fright. But, as a professor, he won his fair share of awards. He also helped in developing a three-year, sub-specialty training program in pediatric cardiology at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Dr. FREEDOM was known among colleagues for his encyclopedic memory. If another doctor so much as mentioned a study in an obscure publication, he was able to recall not only details but authors and publication date, said his friend and colleague Shi-Joon YOO.
His patients loved him. "The parents worshipped the ground he walked on," said Dr. BENSON, adding that years later he remembered their names. Obsessive about his work, he spent all hours of the day and night in the hospital. "He lived at Sick Kids," said his wife, Penny, whom he met in the late 1980s after a couple of failed marriages.
Despite suffering from diabetes, Dr. FREEDOM didn't take care of his own health. He enjoyed Scotch, smoking cigars and eating whatever he desired. "Bob did things his way," Dr. BENSON said.
Not one to usually take vacations, he changed his mind after a trip to Granville Ferry in Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley. Located on the Annapolis River, he fell in love with the place and would spend a month there each year until he retired.
Dr. FREEDOM received several awards, including the Council Award of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, presented to Ontario physicians who are judged to have been closest to meeting society's vision of an "ideal" physician. In 2000, he was named to the Order of Ontario.
Robert FREEDOM was born on February 27, 1941, in Baltimore. He died on May 7, 2005, in Halifax of renal failure as a result of diabetes. He was 64. He leaves his wife Penny and stepson Jonathan.

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YOOL o@ca.on.grey_county.artemesia.flesherton.the_flesherton_advance 2005-06-08 published
YOOL, Cecil and Florence
In memory of a dear father, grandfather and great-grandfather, Cecil, who passed away June 10, 1987, and a dear mother, grandmother and great-grandmother; Florence, who passed away August 23, 1998.
They had a sense of humour
And a sparkle in their eye,
A helping hand in times of need,
On that we could rely.
Maybe we can't touch their hands,
Or see their smiling face.
Maybe we can't hear their voice
Or feel their warm embrace
But something we will always have
Tucked safely in our hearts
Our love for them, their love for us,
Will never let us part
Forever loved and never forgotten, Al and Edna YOOL and Family.
Page 3

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YOOL o@ca.on.grey_county.artemesia.flesherton.the_flesherton_advance 2005-06-15 published
McKECHNIE, Cecil and Florence
In memory of a dear father, grandfather and great-grandfather, Cecil who passed away June 10, 1987 and a dear mother, grandmother and great-grandmother Florence who passed away August 23, 1998.
They had a sense of humour
And a sparkle in their eye.
A helping hand in times of need,
On that we could rely.
Maybe we can't touch their hands,
Or see their smiling face.
Maybe we can't hear their voice,
Or feel their warm embrace.
But something we will always have,
Tucked safely in our hearts,
Our love for them, their love for us,
Will never let us part
Forever loved and never forgotten, Al and Edna YOOL and Family.
Page 3

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YOOL o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2005-12-19 published
YOOL, Ethel May (WELWOOD)
At Headwaters Health Care Centre, Orangeville, on Sunday, December 18, 2005, Ethel May WELWOOD, in her 88th year, beloved wife of the late Garfield YOOL, Orangeville. Dear mother of Dennis and Crystal YOOL, Bellvue, Washington, U.S.A.; Doug and Karen YOOL, Georgetown. Loving grandmother of Laura and Robert; Sarah and Matthew O'ROURKE, James and Jessica. Dear sister of Irene and Paul BLAND, Edith and Eddie NURSE, Arthur (deceased) and Verda WELWOOD, Frank (deceased) and Margaret WELWOOD. The family will receive their Friends at the Egan Funeral Home Baxter and Giles Chapel, 273 Broadway, Orangeville (519-941-2630) Monday evening 7-9 o'clock. Funeral service will be held in the chapel on Tuesday, December 20 at 2 o'clock. Interment Forest Lawn Cemetery. If desired, memorial donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, Dufferin Chapter, 204-21 Surrey Street W., Guelph N1H 3R3 or The Gideon Memorial Bible Plan, P.O. Box 3619, 501 Imperial Road N., Guelph N1H 7A2. Condolences for the family may be offered at www.eganfuneralhome.com

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