OBITUARY – JESUS VAQUERO CRESPO, MD, PhD

OBITUARY – JESUS VAQUERO CRESPO, MD, PhD

With sadness I write these lines after knowing that Jesus has passed away.  Every description that I have read today matches what I know: he was a friend,  he did no one wrong, he was a  good person.  In our neurosurgical world, he was well known as a scientist, investigator, teacher, and a tireless worker.

He studied his degree in the University Complutense de Madrid; before graduating he discovered his vocation at Gregorio Marañon Hospital, which before was called Francisco Franco Health Centre, in which he started his own experimental investigations about spinal  injuries by observing the reduction of trauma effects in rats subjected to various treatments especially with corticosteroids.    I met him shortly before he started his residency at Clínica de Puerta de Hierro in Madrid, 1974.  Since then he was working exclusively in Puerta Hierro at Autonomous and Complutense School of Medicine (Madrid).  He finished his first experimental studies obtaining his Doctorate in 1977.  That year my curriculum featured our first work together where we both appeared as authors, and since then more collaborations have followed.

Medical education.  He got the position of Associate Professor of Surgery and then Full Professorship in 1993.  He belonged to the Chair of Histology (Complutense University).  Until now, he has been Full Professor at Autonoma University. Besides his well known academic qualifications, I would like to highlight his skill in teaching and transmitting his extensive knowledge through publications, classes and lectures.  He supervised more than 30 PhDs, published as author or co-author 23 books, 70 chapters and 700 articles. Appointed member of the Spanish Royal Academy of Medicine in 2019, a session on  5th of December 2020 was expected to be conducted by him, but he couldn't go.  Below I will clarify this point.

Research.  It is impossible to describe in a few words  what Jesus did in research.  He started his career as student, and he has dedicated a great part of his life to cell therapy applied to neurological diseases, with implants first in animals and then in clinical trials with promising results.  He obtained more than 50 Research Awards.

Up to now he was the Director of Neurosurgery at Hospital Puerta de Hierro-Majadahonda.  Director of the Chairs of UAM-Neuroscience Institute Hospital Los Madroños, Hospital for Brain and Spinal injuries; UAM-Sermes for Neurological Disorders; UAM Mapfre Foundation for Research in Brain Injury and Rafael del Pino for Neuroscience Research, Doctorate Professor of Neurosurgery and Director of the Department of Surgery of the Autonomous University in Madrid.

We developed a strong relationship in the years we shared in the old Puerta Hierro Clinic, and we collaborated in many projects at that time. I must thank him for his selfless and effective help while I was preparing my doctorate state exams.  We also shared leisure time, meals, and tours. 

Last December 5th, he was expected at the Spanish Royal Academy of Medicine.  Some days before he locked himself in his office, focused on his lecture.  He had a left-sided parietal lobe stroke and was found hours later lying unconscious on the floor. He underwent surgery. Friends were positive about a recovery that didn't happen.   Transferred to a Rehabilitation Hospital a few weeks ago, he tested positive for Covid 19 and although he seemed to be improving, complications arose and he died due multi-organ failure. He suffered all these months knowing that his brain may not recover and his end came with all the horrors surrounding this pandemic, he received the last rites from the Chaplain, but without the presence of loved ones, friends and colleagues.

Rest in Peace, Jesus

Madrid 17th april 2020

Rafael Carrillo Yagüe

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