Dr Adil Shubbar, the longest-serving consultant paediatrician and neonatologist at Corniche Hospital in Abu Dhabi, died on October 14. He was 78.
Born in Iraq in 1945, Dr Shubbar left the country at 17 and would never live there again.
He travelled to the UK to complete his studies, finishing a residency programme at St Andrew's Hospital.
He trained under Dr Michael Phelps Ward, the famed English expedition doctor who climbed Mount Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953.
Dr Shubbar joined the staff at Corniche Hospital in 1980, rising through the ranks to become chief of neonatal service. He also became director of the Arab Board of Training for Neonatology.
Throughout a 42-year career at the hospital, he treated thousands of newborns in the neonatal intensive care unit. Many of his patients were born prematurely.
Dr Shubbar's passion for his job and his deeply ingrained duty of care for his young patients shone through in welcome speeches given during the hospital's annual patient-carer reunions.
During a celebration in 2009, he told those in attendance that he and his staff “are constantly trying to help them [their patients] survive, and survive intact”.
He taught as a professor at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City’s paediatric residency programme, helping to train young Emirati doctors in the field of paediatrics.
He was committed to continuing to improve paediatric medicine in the UAE and helped to develop the neonatal-perinatal fellowship programme with Johns Hopkins Medicine in Abu Dhabi.
Dr Shubbar was a member of several medical groups, including the Perinatal Society UAE, Neonatal Society UAE, the Union of European Neonatal and Perinatal Societies and the American Academy of Pediatrics and Neonatal Society.
In 2010, the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company recognised his 25 years of services at Corniche Hospital.
Dr Shubbar was also a fan of classical music, literature and poetry.
He will be remembered as a founding pillar of the UAE medical community who served generations of citizens and residents.