‘DR. Paul’ recalled bringing joy and dignity to young BC patients

dr  Paul Moxham died of cancer on January 13, 2023.  Colleagues and families remember him as someone who treated his patients the same way he treated his own family.  (Submitted by BC Children's Hospital Foundation - photo credit)

dr Paul Moxham died of cancer on January 13, 2023. Colleagues and families remember him as someone who treated his patients the same way he treated his own family. (Submitted by BC Children’s Hospital Foundation – photo credit)

A pediatric otolaryngologist (ENT) at BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver will be remembered by patients, families and colleagues for his attentive and caring bedside manner.

dr Paul Moxham died on January 13 after living with brain cancer for 16 months, according to his obituary. The 54-year-old is survived by his wife and two daughters. He had worked at BC Children’s Hospital for 23 years.

Moxham played an important role in the health of young patients, but also had a reputation for making their day and treating them and their parents with respect.

Dorothy Gazzola met Moxham when he replaced a retired doctor who had been caring for her daughter Faith, who lives with Down syndrome and autism.

Gazzola said adjusting to a new doctor is usually stressful for a child with a disability, but that was not the case with Dr. Not the case for Moxham.

“He had such a lovely way of just reassuring you. And especially my daughter,” Gazzola said On the coast Presenter Gloria Macarenko. “A child who is very sensitive to people and their intentions.”

The BC Children’s Hospital Foundation shared a video in which Moxham described how he tried to care for each of his patients as he would his own wife and daughters.

Gazzola said that was her experience with Moxham and her daughter.

“He respected Faith, even though Faith doesn’t easily communicate her needs,” she said. “He made sure he understood her. He would take his time – it came naturally to him.”

“And that was what she needed.”

Dr Paul

Joanna Munro, an executive producer at the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, has known Moxham for almost 20 years and said he was known to most people as “Dr. Paul” because of his “incredible energy and warmth”.

“[He] really put the patient at the center of care … and found ways to communicate with them, regardless of how they could communicate,” she said.

Munro said Moxham has received several touching tributes online and on social media, many expressing a feeling that he is a unique doctor and human being.

magic tricks

Munro recalled how Dr. Paul brought his own Harry Potter-style wand to the hospital to cast spells on some of his patients.

She said he would often implicate other clinic staff in the act, secretly turning on the light in a hospital room, or secretly pressing a button to raise a chair he was sitting in while waving his wand around.

“That would help him do his job really well,” Munro said. “But at the same time, make it comfortable for the patient and the parent and build a real sense of trust.”

Munro said Moxham will be remembered for sharing stories that inspired people to contribute to Children’s Hospital and for his work impacting the lives of many young people.

She said he left a lasting legacy with hospital staff as well, training BC’s next generation of pediatricians to care for children the same way he did.


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