At a service held in the Werner Auditorium on Monday, Dr Lawrence “Larry” McBride was remembered by family, physicians, and patients. McBride was the Surgical Director of Advanced Heart Failure, Cardiac Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Assist Device Programs at the Florida Hospital Transplant Center. Hospital colleagues say McBride died suddenly of cardiac arrest on November 24. He was 61 years old.
McBride joined Florida Hospital nearly one year ago to help establish a heart and lung transplant program. Internationally recognized in his field, McBride allowed Florida Hospital to expand its transplant services and was expected to perform the area’s first heart transplant.
Monday’s memorial service featured many of McBride’s colleagues who shared stories about the surgeon who used to tell people, “just call me Larry.” Kevin Accola MD, Barbara Czerska MD, and administrator Eric Stevens all recounted anecdotes about Dr McBride, including how he rode a little red scooter to work. A former colleague from St Louis University School of Medicine (where McBride was first trained) told the audience how Larry used to listen to Pink Floyd music prior to surgery early in his career. Letters were also read from patients whose lives were touched by McBride’s compassion and saved by his skill.
The Heart and Lung Transplant Program absolutely will go forward, said Eric Stevens. “[McBride] would want to fulfill the program’s original purpose,” Stevens remarked. He added that the team has already been actively recruiting an additional surgeon and that the search will continue.
All of Dr. McBride's patients will remain in the very experienced care of Florida Hospital’s Medical Director of Heart Transplantation Dr Czerska, and supported by colleagues at Cardiovascular Surgeons, PA.