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WARMINGTON: Hospitals confirm deaths of four physicians but deny vaccine-related

Toronto Sun logo Toronto Sun 2022-07-27 Joe Warmington
Clockwise: Dr. Lorne Segall, Dr. Jakub Sawicki, Dr. Paul Hannam and Dr. Stephen McKenzie. © Provided by Toronto Sun Clockwise: Dr. Lorne Segall, Dr. Jakub Sawicki, Dr. Paul Hannam and Dr. Stephen McKenzie.
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Attempting to quash social media gossip and speculation, two GTA hospitals have confirmed the deaths of four staff doctors during one week in July but deny any connection to COVID-19 vaccinations.

Three of the doctors were from Mississauga’s Trillium Health Partners and one was from North York General Hospital.

“It is with deep sadness that Trillium Health Partners mourns the loss of three of our physicians who recently passed away,” said a statement from Trillium sent to the Toronto Sun on Wednesday. “Dr. Jakub Sawicki, Dr. Stephen McKenzie and Dr. Lorne Segall were trusted colleagues who were committed to caring for their patients and community.”

Trillium added: “The rumour circulating on social media” that these deaths could be linked to a recent administration of the COVID-19 vaccine “is simply not true.”

The Toronto Sun also received an email from North York General Hospital saying, “we have also received questions about the passing of our Chief of Emergency Medicine recently and wanted to reach out proactively with a short statement in case you have heard online rumours about this as well.”

In that statement it says “North York General Hospital can confirm that the tragic death of Dr. Paul Hannam was not related to COVID-19 or vaccinations of any kind.”

What is agreed upon is that all four doctors were tops in their fields and much-loved and respected.

An obituary for Dr. Segall said “with tremendous grief, we announce the loss of Lorne Segall who passed away July 17, 2022 in his 49th year after a ridiculously unfair and hard fought year-long battle with advanced lung cancer. Adored husband and heart of Trina Liew for 22 beautiful years, he was the doting and proud father to his three children Jake (16), Jessica (14), and Robin (9).”

The obit said, “his second devotion was to his work as an Otolaryngologist at Credit Valley Hospital” in which “Lorne was an intelligent clinician and a talented surgeon” who was “dedicated to his practice and to helping patients.”

With “great sadness” in hearing “the news of Dr. Jakub Sawicki’s passing,” Trillium added, “Dr. Sawicki completed his training at the Credit Valley Family Medicine Teaching Unit in 2013 and has been a member of the Surgical Assisting team at Trillium Health Partners since 2014” and “Dr. Sawicki continued to be involved in teaching family medicine residents at THP” where he “developed a passion for pain medicine and went on to conduct research in this area.”

Trillium called Sawicki a “kind and pleasant person, and he will always be remembered for having a smile on his face. He was an excellent physician, and his patients would open up to his warmth and positivity. Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with his wife and son.”

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They said Dr. McKenzie “an excellent clinician” who provided “patient-centred general neurology services at THP” and “led Multiple Sclerosis care and played an instrumental role in establishing continued care at THP and within the Mississauga Community.”

Additionally, the hospital called the doctor a “caring, kind and gentle man, who truly enjoyed life” and who was “devoted to his family and took care to nurture long-standing friendships” to which “many of us have fond memories of times and experiences shared with Dr. McKenzie and we extend our heartfelt condolences to his family.”

In the case of Dr. Hannam, the 1996 Atlanta Olympics sailor is described as a “physician, Olympian, family man, and mentor” who “died of sudden cardiac failure early into a fun run on the 16th of July 2022” at “50 years old.” The statement said he is survived by his wife Rosemary, children George and Charlotte, his brother Tom and parents Alan and Pauline.”

In a rare move, the hospitals the doctors worked for have confirmed their deaths but say vaccination played no role.

Said Trillium: “Their passings were not related to the COVID-19 vaccine.”

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