A pioneering surgeon in Melbourne's west and one of Footscray Hospital's most revered figures, Mr Kendall Francis sadly passed away last month at the age of 93.
As we look forward to the beginnings of the new Footscray Hospital, it's timely that we also reflect on our past. Mr Francis was at the very heart of Footscray Hospital's proud history.
Born John Kendall Francis into a working class family in 1927, he spent part of his childhood living on Eleanor Street, Footscray, across the road from his future workplace. He joined Footscray Hospital's surgical team in 1956, just three years after the hospital's opening, and almost four decades of distinguished service followed.
Over 36 years, Mr Francis became one of Footscray Hospital's most respected leaders, with senior roles as a general surgeon, chairman of staff and lecturer in surgery. He was a role model and mentor to generations of surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses and surgical staff, and he saved and transformed the lives of countless patients. Western Health's Kendall Francis Prize for the Best Surgical Registrar Research Presentation is named in his honour of his vast achievements and contributions.
Mr Francis will be remembered not only for his outstanding career, but also his many personal qualities. He was, first and foremost, a gentleman. He was renowned for his kindness and generosity and admired across all levels of Western Health.
Our thoughts are with Mr Francis' family and loved ones.
If you have a memory of Mr Francis to share, or if you would like us to pass on a tribute to Mr Francis' family, please email [email protected].