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Dr Ted Feierabend Remembered

The photograph shows Ted and Jane in their garden

Dr Feierabend was one of the last of a generation of missionary children born in India. You may read more our article.

He was possibly the last of the ‘torch bearers’ representing a forgotten generation of overseas missionaries whose parents came and made India their home. Their children grew up in the native soil of India embracing its language, customs, dress sense and multi-cultural diversity as their own because it was ingrained in their childhood. An unusual but beautiful mix of East & West. It would be difficult to explain this to the present generation of westerners or even Indians because with the change of the Century the world has also changed.

He was already a part of the fabric of CMC Ludhiana when our generation of medical students joined as a fresh cadre on the mid 1970’s. He was always seen with his wife Jane who was usually beside him at the college’s social and church gatherings. They opened their house in the CMC staff campus to the young EU (Evangelical Union) student body gatherings. Both he and his wife Jane were a gentle and quiet presence in the college campus in addition to his professional contribution.

Dr Feierabend and Dr RN Bindra were the two Professors of Plastic Surgery in the 1970’s at a time when Plastics was not a separate speciality, but a part of the ‘General Surgery Department’. They both were responsible for the foundation of the Burns & Plastic Surgery Dept, with one of the earliest recognitions by the Indian Medical Council for post-graduate sub-specialisation in Plastic Surgery (MNAMS & later MCh). They trained many Plastic Surgeons including Dr Abraham Thomas who later joined the Faculty. The three made a formidable Team which gave international repute to the CMC Plastic Surgery Department for its work in Burns, Clefts, and Trauma & Microsurgery. In 1986 he left India and the CMC Plastic Surgery Dept with Dr Abraham Thomas at the helm, who in 1995 was credited with the world’s first Face Replant.

Dr Feierabend had a very relaxed and layed back persona which belied his hard working and diligent work as a Plastic Surgeon which sometimes involved many long hours of operating under immense pressure. Jokingly he and Dr Bindra would say ‘Don’t rush in to do today what you can postpone to tomorrow’, to make students aware that ‘Nature heals and scar maturation takes time’ so let nature take its course first -then intervene. I was fortunate to have him as a supervisor for my Thesis on ‘Oral cavity cancer’. Visiting his home for corrections etc. I realised his mathematical skill for statistics. He was a talented musician who also played the trombone as skilfully as he handled the surgical scalpel. Many times, playing for the EU meetings hosted by the Feierabends in their home at the college campus.
A former student from CMC Ludhiana. Batch of 1975
Abbreviations:
MNAMS: Membership of National Academy of Medical Sciences
MCh: Master Chirurgiae is a selective postgraduate surgical degree after MS:Master of Surgery

1 thought on “Dr Ted Feierabend Remembered”

  1. Sad to hear of his passing. A true Christian gentleman who touched All who he encountered. Had the privilege of working with him in the early 70’s. Talked about his skills just a few days sgo.
    Condolences to all his family and friends.

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