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Caroline Hayhurst joined us from Toronto, Canada, where she had just completed a 12 month fellowship in Skull Base Surgery under the guidance of Fred Gentili. Previous to that she had been extremely well trained under the mentorship of Conor Mallucci. She was only the second female fellow to pass through the Centre and maintained the high standard set by Dr Darbar, who is currently forging a brilliant career in St. Louis, Missouri. There is no doubt that Caroline will establish the same admirable reputation in the United Kingdom. While she was with us it became clear she was confident but not arrogant, quiet but not backward in coming forward and knowledgeable but not a know-it-all. The single most frequently voiced comment made about her since she departed refers to “…her amazing knowledge of the neurosurgical literature”. We will miss her passion, her measured and accurate suggestions in the operating room, her diligence and her clinical excellence. I am not sure she will find the surf as attractive in Cardiff, but they are certainly the better off for having her in their health system. We wish her the best of British luck!
Bledi is quietly spoken and reserved both socially and professionally. I noticed his manner on our first interview and was secretly a little worried that we may not click in both arenas, at work and at play. Within a week of working closely with Bledi, any reservation I had was dispelled. He typifies the expression, still waters run deep. He demonstrated warmth and compassion to all patients but especially those who needed a bit more time to accept post-operative deficits or a terminal diagnosis. He’s a great listener but his paucity of words doesn’t mean he doesn’t contribute to clinical decision making and complex clinical scenarios. On the contrary, when Bledi has something to say, people listen. In the operating room, he showed exceptional dexterity and sound insight into controversial situations.
My running joke with Bledi was that he was the only fellow who refused to reduce his meat intake in deference to my veganism. While I was a little upset with him…. for the animals sake…. it is illustrative of Bledi’s strong personality and conviction….. sad for the animals but comforting for his patients who can be reassured he will be uncompromising in their care.
I really enjoyed my time with Bledi. He was a stable force during some trying times for me personally and professionally. He was fun to be around, incredibly trustworthy and a compassionate clinician. We wish him the best of luck for the future and look forward to hearing great things.