Pic­tou County mourns death of es­teemed sur­geon

The News (New Glasgow) - - FRONT PAGE - BY ADAM MACIN­NIS

Dr. Basilon Cole al­ways told his col­leagues he was never go­ing to re­tire.

As staff at the Aberdeen Hos­pi­tal mourn the sur­geon’s sud­den pass­ing last week at the age of 71, Dr. An­drew Hay­ward, depart­ment head, surgery, for the Aberdeen Hos­pi­tal, can’t help but think he got his wish.

“This is the way he would have wanted to go,” he said.

Cole, who had worked a full day on Tues­day, passed away in the Hal­i­fax In­fir­mary on Fri­day sur­rounded by fam­ily. Cole had been a physi­cian at the Aberdeen Hos­pi­tal for his en­tire med­i­cal ca­reer of 37 years.

Dr. Chris El­liott has worked in Pic­tou County since 1974 and knew Cole through­out his ten­ure in town. He con­sid­ered him not only a col­league, but a friend and a fix­ture in the lo­cal health care com­mu­nity.

“He was al­most like the heart of the hos­pi­tal,” El­liott said.

Cole had a big laugh and a big smile and was gen­er­ally in a good mood.

“When he wasn’t, there was a good rea­son,” El­liott said.

As a fam­ily physi­cian, El­liott of­ten re­ferred pa­tients for surgery with Cole. He al­ways told them that he would trust Cole to per­form surgery on him or any of his fam­ily.

“His pro­fes­sional loss is as­tro­nom­i­cal for Pic­tou County and the Nova Sco­tia Health Author­ity,” he said.

Hay­ward first met Cole when he came to work at the Aberdeen Hos­pi­tal four years ago. In the years that fol­lowed, he knew if he ever had a ques­tion or wanted a sec­ond opin­ion, Cole or “Basi,” as he was re­ferred to by those around the hos­pi­tal, would be happy to help.

“He was the type of guy that al­ways made time for you,” Hay­ward said. “He was one of those peo­ple in the hos­pi­tal that you could go to for ad­vice in any sit­u­a­tion…. He was like a fa­ther fig­ure for ev­ery­one.”

Alana Toole worked with him as a scrub nurse for many years and later as health ser­vices man­ager for the Aberdeen Hos­pi­tal’s OR.

“He was ab­so­lutely at his hap­pi­est when he was in the OR do­ing surgery,” she said.

As a pro­fes­sional he re­mained calm and col­lected. He had a plan and he knew how to fol­low it.

“He was a really val­ued mem­ber of the team and he was held in high re­gard by all.”

As she thinks back to his last day at work, she re­mem­bers him leav­ing with a smile on his face.

“He was so very happy when he was op­er­at­ing.”


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