Dr. Salomon Hakim, the Father of Modern Neurosurgery died yesterday here in Bogota. I never had the privilege of meeting Dr. Hakim, and I was not an ardent follower of his work.
But I did have the pleasure of interviewing his son, Dr. Fernando Hakim . I had heard Dr. Salomon Hakim’s name mentioned in passing, so I had familiarized myself with him prior to meeting Dr. Fernando Hakim, thus I knew of his contributions to the treatment of hydrocephalus, and the field of neurosurgery, and the development of the Hakim valve. I had even gone by San Juan de Dios in downtown Bogota, and tried to imagine him, hard at work, in the now deserted halls.
I remember upon my first meeting with Dr. Hakim being daunted by his accomplishments, and then thinking, if I felt daunted by his achievements, what was it like to be the son of Salomon Hakim?
But, Dr. Fernando Hakim – he didn’t follow in his father’s footsteps.. He tread through them, and past them to build upon his father’s body of work, and create new innovations. That is the greatest tribute anyone could ever give Dr. Salomon Hakim, a man who dedicated his life to helping others.