Professor Dr. Fuad Sami Haddad, BA, MD, FRCS (C), FACS
Dr. Fuad Sami Haddad was born in 1924, in Lebanon, at the extreme eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea. He and his five siblings were greatly influenced by the activities and thoughts of their father, Dr. Sami Haddad. Fuad graduated from medical school at the American University in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1948, and trained in neurosurgery under Dr. Wilder Penfield at the Montreal Neurological Institute in Canada. When he returned to Beirut, in 1955, there were no fully trained neurosurgeons in the majority of the countries in the Middle East including Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the Arab Emirates, Sudan, Iraq, and Cyprus. There were only two neurosurgeons in Egypt, three in Turkey, and another two in Iran . He joined his alma mater where he was promoted through the ranks to the position of Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery and Chairman of the Department of Surgery. He was also frequently invited as Visiting Professor of Neurosurgery at several universities in the USA, among which the University of Chicago, the University of Iowa, the Cleveland Clinics, the University of New York at Albany, and the University of Arkansas. He founded numerous Lebanese and regional scientific societies such as the Lebanese Society of Neurosurgery, the Middle East Neurosurgical Society, the Pan Arab Neurosurgical Society and the World Association of Lebanese Neurosurgeons. Doctor Haddad was a prolific writer with more than 70 scientific articles and several books to his credit. I had the privilege of working with him on “Neurobrucellosis: Clinical, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Features” .
In 1974, with the spark of the Lebanese Civil War, Dr. Haddad stayed to serve the people in his country. “At one time he was the only neurosurgeon serving the American University Medical Center with its 450 beds, turned into a field hospital … On a memorable spring weekend in 1976, he had to perform 13 craniotomies in a row for craniocerebral wounds. For 60 long hours he stood in the operating room mending the brain wounds of those unfortunate casualties.” [1, 3].
Dr. Haddad was a cornerstone of science, morale, mentoring, and professionalism in the Middle East. In a ceremony of the annual award of the Alumni Association in 2009, Dr. Haddad was introduced by his colleague with the following words: “He was known as the 'God of Neurosurgery' in the 1960s and 1970s, always aimed high and carried this notion of aiming high into every aspect of his life: his education, his career, his meticulousness in daily activities, and most certainly in practicing neurosurgery.” (https://services.aubmc.org.lb/ext/aubmc_news/users/article.asp?art_id=321).
In 1956, Dr. Fuad Sami Haddad married the love of his life, Aida, and together they began a loving partnership that would last 59 years. They raised six children, Georges, Souheil, Fadi, Labib, Nabih, and Janane. Fuad’s family was always his most important priority until the day he passed.
Fuad was indeed a great man and an outstanding scientist with high scholarly standards. He will be remembered for his significant contributions to the science of neurosurgery specifically in the fields of War Neurosurgery and surgery for parasitic infestations such as hydatidosis and brucellosis involving the central and peripheral nervous system [2, 4]. He will also be missed as a great promotor or regional and international cooperation in our field. His character and achievements, his connections and friendliness earned him great respect among his colleagues and friends. He will always remain in our minds as a friend who achieved greatness through hard work, perseverance, righteousness, patriotism, and kindness.