Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association, 04-April-2008, Vol 121 No 1271
John William Corboy
John Corboy was a general surgical advanced trainee at Auckland City Hospital. Sadly he lost his battle with leukaemia just before Christmas 2007.
John began his life in Otorohanga, growing up as the eldest of five brothers on a dairy farm in Te Awamutu. He was schooled as a boarder at Sacred Heart College in Auckland as was the tradition in his family. After choosing between his childhood dreams of priest, pilot, or doctor, John completed Medical School at Otago University in 1994 where he initially stayed in Carrington Hall before flatting with friends.
John managed to fit an extraordinary life into the next 13 years while remaining quietly unassuming. He was a modest man of great internal strength, able to continue to give to others while he himself was fighting for his life. Writing an obituary is difficult as John did not let many know of his achievements and it is only on his passing that many of us found out the complex and courageous man he was.
John perhaps showed signs of things to come by organising his elective at NASA, Houston, studying space medicine and becoming a 3rd Dan in Seido Karate! Initially spending 2 years as a house officer in Wellington, he chose surgery (in his own words, his “calling”) and worked as a surgical registrar from 1997 to 1999.
In 1998 life turned upside down for John with the diagnosis of leukaemia. Determinately, John had ongoing treatment as he continued to work as a GP, obtaining his Primex and becoming a Fellow of the Royal New Zealand College of GPs.
He also gained a Diploma in Aviation Medicine and sat exams in Appearance Medicine which allowed him to become instrumental in laser tattoo removal in South Auckland, writing what was to become a national reference on the subject.
John continued to work towards a surgical career passing his Part I exam after a number of attempts, while unwell, but adamant he was to be treated just like anyone else. He then became an advanced general surgical trainee and worked at Auckland City Hospital 2006 to mid 2007. Never one to back down from the political, John was elected to be our (the NZ General Surgical Advanced Trainees) representative in 2006 and after one meeting in Australia had impressed everyone so much with his integrity and diligence that they promptly elected him to be the Chair of the RACSTA.
On 27 December 2006, John and his wife of 2 years, Susan, had a baby boy named William. Again beating the odds after all of his chemotherapy!
However, in a devastating blow he developed myelodysplasia and required a bone marrow transplant. With plans to return to work within the year John battled graft vs host disease but sadly in the company of his loved ones he passed away peacefully at home just before Christmas.
Dr Susan Gallop wrote this obituary. It originally appeared in Nova, the official staff newsletter for the Auckland District Health Board. We thank editor Sneha Paul for allowing us to republish it.
issue | Search journal |
Archived issues | Classifieds
| Hotline (free ads)
Subscribe | Contribute | Advertise | Contact Us | Copyright | Other Journals