At the age of 51, Dr. Mel Tohill, a highly esteemed plastic surgeon in the north, unexpectedly departed away.
The father of three was the subject of tributes organized by coworkers at the Ulster Hospital, where he worked as a consultant. Belfast Skin Clinic patients were also seen by Dr. Tohill.
The Ulster Hospital plastic surgery team paid tribute, stating that they “are deeply saddened by the sudden death of their esteemed colleague, Mr. Mel Tohill”.
“He was a skilful, dedicated and compassionate surgeon, a highly-respected teacher and mentor, and a very dear colleague and friend, the staff said.
“The care of his patients was at the centre of his professional life, and we all benefitted from his wise counsel.” Dr Tohill died on Saturday.
Other tributes described Dr Tohill as a “true professional and a gentleman and someone who cared deeply about doing the right thing for patients” He will be “a huge loss to the cancer community”, the tribute added.
Dr Tohill will be “sadly missed by his heartbroken wife Jackie and his sons Malachy, James and Danny”, a family notice stated.
His biography on the Belfast Skin Centre website states he graduated in medicine from Queen’s University in 1997 after previously being awarded first class honours in therapeutics and pharmacology in 1995.
Following a year at the Mater Hospital, he entered core surgical training in Belfast, during which time he developed an interest in plastic and reconstructive surgery “and decided to commit to pursuing a career in this highly competitive specialty”.
Dr Tohill moved to London in 2001 and was appointed as a research fellow “in the internationally-renowned Blond McIndoe Laboratories based in the Royal Free and University College London Medical School”.
He developed “techniques for nerve regeneration during his research and published and presented his findings nationally and internationally”
His key areas of interest were in reconstructive microsurgery for breast reconstruction, skin cancer and medical education.