• He emerged the world’s leading expert as separating craniopagus twins in his illustrious career
  • Dr. James T. Goodrich was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and Vietnam veteran
  • He served a 30-year stint at the Montefiore Medical Center in which he was designated as the director of the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery

A famous neurosurgeon, who worked at the Montefiore Medical Center in New York, died of COVID-19, the hospital announced Monday. He was 73 years old.

Dr. James T. Goodrich, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, successfully separated the conjoined twins Jadon and Anias McDonald in 2016. Goodrich in his 30-year stint at the hospital served as the director of the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery. He simultaneously served as a professor of clinical neurosurgery, pediatrics, plastic and reconstructive surgery at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

In his illustrious career as a surgeon, he emerged the world’s leading expert on separating craniopagus twins, touted a “lifesaving procedure” by the hospital. "Dr. Goodrich was a beacon of our institution and he will be truly missed," Montefiore Medicine CEO Dr. Philip O. Ozuah said in a statement. "His expertise and ability were second only to his kind heart and manner."

Dr. Goodrich over the years mentored many young surgeons who the hospital said “wanted to follow his footsteps.” Goodrich didn’t vie for limelight and was beloved by his colleague and staff, according to the hospital.

“Jim was in many ways the heart and soul of our department — a master surgeon, a world-class educator, and a beloved colleague for all,” Dr. Emad Eskandar, chair of the neurosurgery department at Albert Einstein College and Montefiore Medical Center, said. “His sudden loss is heart-breaking and his memory will always remain foremost in our thoughts.”

He had a penchant for historical artifacts, travel, and surfing outside of his work.

It was not immediately known how he contracted the disease. Goodrich is survived by his wife and three sisters.

This was not the first time a medical professional had succumbed to the virus. On March 24, a nurse at Mount Sinai West hospital in Manhattan died of the disease. Kious Kelly reportedly had asthma, which bolstered his chances of dying after contracting the virus. On Saturday, Araceli Buendia Ilagan, a 63-year-old nurse working on the frontline in the wake of COVID-19 in Miami, died. Their deaths point toward the shortage in protective medical supplies that medical professionals across the country are facing.

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