He slept on the floor covered in straw in a house made of mud, with a roof of tree trunks covered with rocks from a river bed in a small, primitive village called Anez in Syria.
You are here
Farewell to the Free Doctor
He was known in Arima as The Free Doctor, because Dr Eugene Laurent never turned away a sick person. You could have nothing but holes in your pocket, he would attend to your cough, psoriasis, diabetes, palpitations or whatever.
He wasn’t checking bank accounts; he preferred heartbeats and chest sounds.
Once, a patient whom he had treated free of charge returned to him after some months, looking like he was ready for Lapeyrouse. Shocked at the man’s condition, Dr Laurent chided the relatives. Didn’t they give him the medicine, didn’t they ensure he followed the diet he had prescribed?
This is the answer he got: “Well, to tell you de trute, Doc, after we left here, we went by de payin’ doctor for the better medicine. Buh like it ent work, so we say bess we come back by you.’’
Dr Laurent had a whole bag of stories like that.
“I will miss that clown,’’ his sister Valerie said, still in disbelief that such a light had gone out.
Dr Eugene Cipriani Laurent, 79, died on March 6.
Among the last sentences he was able to utter was, “But Val, the nurse not even smiling.’’ He was a riot, right to the end.
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff.
Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments.
Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.