Dr. Judson Eneas, 72, a leading member of the Bahamian medical community, is the first physician and the fifth person diagnosed with COVID-19 in The Bahamas to die.
Eneas died in hospital on Saturday night.
Hours after his death, in an emotional voice note, his wife, Marcheta Eneas, said, “Judson fought and he fought and he fought, but the man got tired. And after being with the same man for 50 years, I knew there would come a time when he would just let go and let God.
“I’m not angry. I’m not angry at all. I’m sad. The saddest thing is that I couldn’t go to the hospital and say goodbye to him last night and I’m also quarantined and not allowed to leave the house.
“Two of his children live in California and Maryland. They may not be able to come; and if they do get here, they won’t even be able to come to their mother’s home and find comfort.
“This is a year that I will never forget; 2020 will always be on my mind.”
Eneas’ birthday was April 18.
Eneas, a nephrologist, established dialysis services at Doctors Hospital in 1986.
Dr. Charles Sealey, CEO of the hospital, said Eneas was one of the early physicians who played a key role in the growth of Doctors Hospital.
“Ideally, you’re talking about a physician who has been a part of our health system for a significant period, who has done a lot in the profession of nephrology,” Sealey, who worked with Eneas for more than 20 years, told The Nassau Guardian.
“He was responsible for dialysis services for both the in-patient and out-patient platforms. He will be truly missed, certainly by us and all of his colleagues.”
In an email, Doctors Hospital President Dr. Charles Diggis said Eneas’ death represents a great loss.
“There is no easy way to accept the loss of a colleague,” Diggis wrote.
“We are still at the beginning of a fight which looms to take us through turbulent times over the next months and it will continue to have casualties. [T]his will change us all forever. Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to Dr. Eneas’ family. He was with our dream and vision from inception.”
Eneas’ death was met with great sadness in many quarters yesterday because of his wide involvement in various sectors of Bahamian society.
He was a member of the local chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated as well as a charter member of the Delta Lambda Boulé of the Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity.
“It’s painful,” said Dr. Harold Munnings, a gastroenterologist who worked with Eneas and is also a part of Sigma Pi Phi.
He added, “Judson was the head of the whole region for our fraternity, the Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity. He was hoisted to become the head of the whole organization and that would’ve put him in a very influential position.
“So, I think his loss is actually going to change the course of history for this country and for our organization certainly and for the thing that our organization does. It certainly will change the course of history.”
Eneas was also one of the founders of the Gentlemen’s Club, which has provided more than $5 million in scholarships to approximately 1,000 young men.
In a Facebook post, Justin Smith, 21, who passed through the organization, said he was “deeply saddened to have learned of the untimely death of Dr. Judson Eneas”.
“I first met ‘Doc’ in 2016 when he took me into the Gentlemen’s Club,” Smith wrote.
“From that day, I always admired his poise, his class, his strength, respect and vision for the future of young men in our country. Dr. Eneas devoted his life’s work to transforming young men into gentlemen and giving them the lessons and tools to succeed at life.
“Through the Gentlemen’s Club, he created a brotherhood of young men. I am personally grateful for the influence he has had over my life and say on behalf of the thousands of lives he has inspired, molded, mentored and changed: thank you for your courage, devotion and rich legacy.”
Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader Philip Brave Davis said Eneas’ death has left “a huge leadership void” in The Bahamas.
“…We who remain have a moral responsibility to memorialize his legacy of nation-building through love and service,” he said.
In a statement, the Kappa Lambda Lambda Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity yesterday appealed for “all to commit to social distancing and the guidance of our health professionals”.