We announce with deep sorrow the passing away of our most senior member of the HKNS, Dr. Edmund Cheung, on the 31st December 2020 at the age of 86, after fighting against fibrosarcoma for several years.
Dr. Cheung graduated from the University of Hong Kong in 1957. Soon afterwards he took up neurosurgery under the mentorship of the late Dr. HL Wen—the father of Neurosurgery in Hong Kong, at the Queen Mary Hospital. Before long, he left for further training at the Institute of Neurological Sciences of the Newcastle-upon-Tyne Hospital in the UK. He became a fully qualified neurosurgeon and returned to Hong Kong in 1968 to head the Neurosurgical Department at Queen Elizabeth Hospital which was the only provider ofneurosurgery in public hospitals.
I had the fortune of joining his department at Queen Elizabeth Hospital as a trainee in 1975. Not only did I admire his professional competence I was also profoundly impressed by his caring attitude and ethical manner toward his patients.
It was a time when the CT Scanner and Operating Microscope had yet to be introduced. Investigations were mostly invasive in nature, such as LAEG, Ventriculography or angiography by direct neck puncture. Moreover, no neurologist was available and investigations such as EEG, EMG & Nerve Conduction Tests were performed by neurosurgeons. It was fortunate for the public service to have a polymath like Dr. Cheung who competentlyperformed what are nowadays the work of neuroradiologists and neurologists. I was privileged to learn from the master these skills and knowledge that help me to understand the value and limitations of our colleagues. [In other words, I would not be easily bluffed]
After long years of public service, Dr. Cheung went into private practice in the late 70s. His professional competence and medical ethics continue to serve his patients well and he remained one of the most respectable doctors among his peers and the lay public. I joined him as a junior partner in 1986 when he emigrated to North America. In these years I continued to receive guardianship from him, as well as a more than fair share of the profit from the practice. He was indeed one of the most generous persons I have ever met.
Upon his return to Hong Kong years later, he spent more time in charity service and in spreading Christianity than in clinical practice. He had helped to bring youths from the mainland to Hong Kong for cultural enlightenment. He had donated generously to various charities—a particularly noble and altruistic act for a person who had no liking for extravagancy.
Both the good doctor and his wife, Shirley, shared the passion and kindness of devoting to society and God. It had been a devastating catastrophe to Dr. Cheung when Shirley succumbed to a chronic illness 4 years earlier. But he continued their good work on his own in the ensuing years. They had raised three daughters who are staying in the USA. I have no doubt they are immensely proud of their beloved parents.
The Society is honored and proud to have Dr. Edmund Cheung as a member who exemplified the meaning of personal integrity, professional competence and impeccable character.
Dr. YT Kan
on behalf of the HKNS
January 13, 2021