The following is a news paper article about the death of a man I knew and admired. Please pray for his family, he has three children under five.
Dr. Dermot Foran was a "James Herriot type of veterinarian -- a highly respected old-fashioned country doctor who was also the consummate professional," said friend and medical partner Dr. Jay O'Leary.
Like Herriot, whose exploits as a veterinarian in North Yorkshire, England, were chronicled in his books and on the TV series "All Creatures Great and Small," Dr. Foran was also a soft spoken and compassionate man who grieved "when he had to put an animal down," said his wife, Pamela.
Dr. Dermot J. Foran, of McCandless, a partner in the Wexford Veterinary Hospital in McCandless, died Thursday, Aug. 11, 2005, at Mercy Hospital, Uptown, from injuries sustained during a bicycle accident the day before. He was 36.
"My husband received more letters from families that had to have their animals put down than he did for healing their pets," said his wife. "He understood their pain in losing a loved pet."
A client described Dr. Foran as a man "who was doing so many good things in this world to make God smile," his wife said. The client was also talking about Dr. Foran as a devout Christian who took time off from his busy schedule to teach children the liturgy at St. John Neuman Church in Franklin Park, his wife said.
Dr. Foran's love of animals began when was a boy growing up on his parents' dairy farm in Listowel, County Kerry, Ireland, his wife said.
His parents, Eamon and Elaine Foran, also bred thoroughbred horses and show jumpers and had a number of dogs and cats that Dr. Foran cared for, his wife said.
O'Leary introduced Dr. Foran to his future wife in 1991, when he arrived in McCandless for a four-month externship dealing with small animals at Wexford Veterinary Hospital. The couple wed in 1995. Dr. Foran became a member of the hospital staff a year later, and he and O'Leary acquired the hospital last year.
"He had a great Irish brogue and red hair, which our clients enjoyed," O'Leary said. "He was soft spoken and also spent a lot of time with our clients."
Dr. Foran also was a competitive bicyclist and member of the Allegheny Cycling Association.
"He was up early in the morning and would ride anywhere from 20 to 60 miles that day," his wife said.
"He also participated in many rides for charity," she added.
Dr. Foran also had a daring side, his wife said. She remembered the afternoon when he decided to parachute out of an airplane.
"He enjoyed it so much, that he wanted to do it again, but I put a stop to that as soon as the children came."
Dr. Foran is survived by his wife, Pamela Parsons Foran, of McCandless; three children, Kenneth, 5, Aislinn, 3, and Fiona, 2; and his parents, Elaine and Eamon Foran, of Ireland. He was predeceased by a brother, Kenney Foran.
Visitation is from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. today and Monday at the Simons Funeral Home Inc., 7720 Perry Highway, Ross.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Tuesday in St. John Neumann Church, with burial in Christ Our Redeemer (North Side Catholic) Cemetery, Ross.