A mentor passes at 114 years old

Dr. Weeks’ Comment: This Christmas greeting from a dear friend and medical colleague was hugely appreciated.  It is heart warming and validating.  Want to live to 114?  Read on!  (names omitted for privacy)

 

Dear Brad,

………My job as a pediatrician is equally rewarding and relational, as is yours. My hero/role model, Dr ______________, was my pediatrician who just died this past spring at age 114 2/12 years. She practiced till she was 103 when her eyesight got bad. We visited when she was 102 and living independently, and last visited her when she was 108 and was living with her daughter. She was sharp mentally and gave wise advice to my kids ( the same advice she had given others for 75 years) and walked alone or with a walker.

I would think you would be curious about her secrets to health and longevity. They are likely on her website. She had a career she loved, a husband she respected and who loved her, and a daughter whom she prioritized (she often told me I could do whatever I wanted as long as I put my family first). She volunteered her time once a week at a free clinic and she played golf most Wednesday afternoons (and was so good that she hit a hole-in-one at age 90!)

She ate daily at the same times 7:30,12:30, and 5:30, and her patients knew this and would wait until she returned from after her meal.  She drank nothing but water (no milk and yet had no osteoporosis, and, of course, never took estrogens and never even felt herself going into menopause) and no wine. At 40 she thought her joints were getting a little stiff so she said that after that, she let no sugar pass her lips and she showed me her hands proudly at 102 to show me how nice they were (but when I visited when she was 108, her daughter said, “She certainly likes that sweet potato soufflé at the cafeteria down the road”–Hey, give the lady a break).

 

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